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Caribbean Literature / Autobiography / African American Studies / Gender Studies


Caribbean Autobiography
Cultural Identity and Self-Representation
Sandra Pouchet Paquet

Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography
William L. Andrews, Series Editor

The rich literary tradition of English-language autobiography in the Caribbean, from Mary Prince and Jean Rhys to Derek Walcott, V. S. Naipaul, and Jamaica Kincaid

Despite the range and abundance of autobiographical writing from the Anglophone Caribbean, this book is the first to explore this literature fully. It covers works from the colonial era up to present-day AIDS memoirs and assesses the links between more familiar works by George Lamming, C. L. R. James, Derek Walcott, V. S. Naipaul, and Jamaica Kincaid and less frequently cited works by the Hart sisters, Mary Prince, Mary Seacole, Claude McKay, Yseult Bridges, Jean Rhys, Anna Mahase, and Kamau Brathwaite.

Sandra Pouchet Paquet charts the intersection of multiple, contradictory viewpoints of the colonial and postcolonial Caribbean, differing concepts of community and levels of social integration, and a persistent pattern of both resistance and accommodation within island states that were largely shaped by British colonial practice from the mid-seventeenth through the mid-twentieth century. The texts examined here reflect the entire range of autobiographical practice, including the slave narrative and testimonial, written and oral narratives, spiritual autobiographies, fiction, serial autobiography, verse, diaries and journals, elegy, and parody.

"Truly breaks new ground in the field of Caribbean letters."
—Carole Boyce Davies, Northwestern University

Sandra Pouchet Paquet is professor of English at the University of Miami and is the author of The Novels of George Lamming. She has been guest editor of the journals Callaloo and West Indian Literature. She was born in Trinidad.

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This cover conveys a Caribbean calm with its blue tones, and the conch shell that floats in the center.

July 2002
304 pp.  6 x 9

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The cloth version of this title, ISBN 978-0-299-17690-7, is out of print.

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