Critical Perspectives on Indo-Caribbean Women’s Literature

Edited by Joy Mahabir, Mariam Pirbhai

© 2013 – Routledge

274 pages

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pub: 2015-05-21
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About the Book

This book is the first collection on Indo-Caribbean women's writing and the first work to offer a sustained analysis of the literature from a range of theoretical and critical perspectives, such as ecocriticism, feminist, queer, post-colonial and Caribbean cultural theories. The essays not only lay the framework of an emerging and growing field, but also critically situate internationally acclaimed writers such as Shani Mootoo, Lakshmi Persaud and Ramabai Espinet within this emerging tradition. Indo-Caribbean women writers provide a fresh new perspective in Caribbean literature, be it in their unique representations of plantation history, anti-colonial movements, diasporic identities, feminisms, ethnicity and race, or contemporary Caribbean societies and culture. The book offers a theoretical reading of the poetics, politics and cultural traditions that inform Indo-Caribbean women's writing, arguing that while women writers work with and through postcolonial and Caribbean cultural theories, they also respond to a distinctive set of influences and realities specific to their positioning within the Indo-Caribbean community and the wider national, regional and global imaginary. Contributors visit the overlap between national and transnational engagements in Indo-Caribbean women's literature, considering the writers' response to local or nationally specific contexts, and the writers' response to the diasporic and transnational modalities of Caribbean and Indo-Caribbean communities.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Tracing an Emerging Tradtition Joy Mahabir and Mariam Pirbhai I. Indo-Caribbean Localities, Feminist Poetics 1. Re-Casting Jahaji-Bhain: Plantation History and the Indo-Caribbean Women’s Novel in Trinidad, Guyana and Martinique Mariam Pirbhai 2. Domestic Altars, Female Avatars: Hindu Wives and Widows in Lakshmi Persaud’s Raise the Lanterns High Supriya Nair 3. "Music and a Story": Sound Writing in Ramabai Espinet’s The Swinging Bridge Njelle Hamilton 4. Carnival Poetics and Politics: Lakshmi Persaud’s For the Love of My Name and Niala Maharaj’s Like Heaven J. Vijay Maharaj 5. The Broad Breast of the Land: Indo-Caribbean Ecofeminism and Mahadai Das Letizia Gramaglia and Joseph Jackson II. Transnational Realities, Diasporic Subjectivities 6. The Kala Pani Imaginary: A Survey of Indo-Caribbean Women’s Poetry Joy Mahabir 7. Interrogating the Presence of the Double Diaspora in Asian- and Indo-Caribbean Women Writers for Children Karen Sands O’Connor 8. Indo-Trinidadian Identities and Sexuality: A Survey of Shani Mootoo’s Fiction Frank Birbalsingh 9. Illicit Intimacies, the Rāmāyana and Synaesthetic Remembering in Shani Mootoo’s Valmiki’s Daughter Donna McCormack 10. Revising Female Indian Memory: Ramabai Espinet’s Construction of an Indo-Trinidadian Diaspora in The Swinging Bridge Rodolphe Solbiac Bibliography Contributors

About the Editors

Joy Mahabir is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Suffolk County Community College of the State University of New York, U.S.A.

Mariam Pirbhai is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures

Edited in collaboration with the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, University of Kent at Canterbury, Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures presents a wide range of research into postcolonial literatures by specialists in the field. Volumes concentrate on writers and writing originating in previously (or presently) colonized areas, and include material from non-anglophone as well as anglophone colonies and literatures.

Part of our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections, this series considers postcolonial literature alongside topics such as gender, race, ecology, religion, politics, and science. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics. Series editors: Donna Landry and Caroline Rooney

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT004100
LITERARY CRITICISM / Caribbean & Latin American
LIT008000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Asian / General