New literatures: the Carribbean



Publication Details

Hicks, E. & Sharrad, P. 2010, 'New literatures: the Carribbean', The year's Work in English Studies, vol. 89, pp. 1048-1075.


Diaspora continues to supply a methodological framework for discussing Caribbean writing. One instance is Christine Chivallon's investigation 'On the Registers of Caribbean Memory of Slavery'. The article focuses on the French Caribbean and is not literary but provides a useful mapping of differences between francophone and anglophone theories of diasporic identity and a discussion of problems inhering in constructivism. It builds a model for regional identity in which multiple narratives born of the break in Africa and fragmentation of community under slavery signify not lack of origin located in lost collective memory, but hte grounds for 'a multiply-segmented culture, producing several, collective orientations simultaneously'. That this diasporic focus is not just confined to Caribbean studies is evident in Mark Shackleton's collection, Diasporic Literature and Theory - Where now? In amongst essays on Gloria Anzaldua, Michael Ondaatje, SAlman Rushdie and Kazuo Ishiguro, John McLeod, in 'Diaspora and Utopia: Reading the Recent Work of Paul Gilroy and Caryl Phillips', weighs up the melancholic, past-directed side of diaspora theory against its celebratory utopian aspect.

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Oxford University Press

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