Brown-Rose, J. A.
Critical Nostalgia and Caribbean Migration
Year of Publication: 2009
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2009. 106 pp.
ISBN 978-1-4331-0462-6 hardback (Hardcover)
Weight: 0.270 kg, 0.595 lbs
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The literature of Caribbean writers living in the United States embodies a duality, an awareness of multiple sites of identity as well as conflict of place and space. Easily grouped with African Americans, Caribbean peoples and other immigrants from the African Diaspora make up the quasi-political face of Black America. But as immigrants from a former colonized community, Caribbean writers carry with them a historical experience that differentiates them from African Americans - they stand on the border of two spaces. What impact does this duality have on Caribbean literature written by writers who have left the «home» space for American soil?
As many writers have suggested, Caribbean writers are continuously looking back to home in an attempt to understand who they are and where they belong. This book postulates that it is through nostalgia, or an attempt to renegotiate the past, that the Caribbean writer attempts to reconcile his/her duality. Nostalgia can be directly linked to an understanding of, and by extension a critique of, American social and political practices as well as an appraisal of colonial influences in the Caribbean. Thus the discourse of Caribbean writers living in America operates on different levels: Although Caribbean migratory writers are continuously looking back to «home», this nostalgia is tied to a reevaluation of American and island consciousness. The texts discussed in this work are, in effect, engaged in critical analysis; the texts «perform criticism» of the «home» country and «that man's country» - the United States.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
The Author: J. A. Brown-Rose received her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University where her focus was on African American and Caribbean literatures, post-colonial studies, and cultural studies. She currently teaches English at a small liberal-professional college in Western Massachusetts.
Caribbean Studies. Vol. 23
General Editors: Tamara Alvarez-Detrell and Michael G. Paulson