Diasporic (Dis)Locations: Indo-Caribbean Women Writers Negotiate the Kala Pani


Indo-Caribbean women writers are virtually invisible in the literary landscape because of cultural and social inhibitions and literary chauvinism. Until recently, the richness and particularities of the experiences of these writers in the field of literature and literary studies were compromised by stereotypical representations of the Indo-Caribbean women that were narrated from a purely masculine or an Afrocentric point of view. This book fills an important gap in an important but underestimated emergent field. The book explores how cultural traditions and female modes of opposition to patriarchal control were transplanted from India and rearticulated in the Indo-Caribbean diaspora to determine whether the idea of "cultural continuity" is, in fact, a postcolonial reality or a fictionalized myth. The Indian women who braved the treacherous crossing of the Atlantic, or the "kala pani, to Trinidad and Guyana provided courage, determination, self-reliance and sexual independence to their literary granddaughters who in turn used the "kala pani as the necessary language and frame of reference to position Indo-Caribbean female subjectivity with equating writing as a pubic declaration of one's identity and right to claim creative agency. The book is of critical interest to those interested in twentieth-century literary studies, Caribbean studies, gender studies, ethnic studies and cultural studies.


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