Mother Imagery in the Novels of Afro-Caribbean Women

By Simone A. James Alexander | Go to book overview

themselves writing against the “master” narrative. Accentuating their heroism, this study not only validates the authors as great writers, but also argues that their works deserve greater critical attention because of the unique perspective: these women share blackness, femaleness, and Caribbeanness as they give “voice to their experiences and join in the attempt of women throughout the world, particularly in the African diaspora,” to redefine themselves. The literary works of these women novelists seek to give expression to voices that have not always been heard as loudly and as clearly as they should have been. Adhering to Selwyn Cudjoe's acknowledgment that “the rise of women's writings in the Caribbean cannot be viewed in isolation, [because] it is a part of a much larger expression of women's realities that is taking place in the postcolonial world and civil rights era in the United States,” this study simultaneously celebrates through critique Caribbean women's literary accomplishments, and acknowledges that the writings of these women, which are grounded within the black diaspora, are a part of a larger current of writing that is taking place worldwide. 4.

In spite of the fact that Caribbean women's writing is in dialogue with mainstream European culture and writings, the Caribbean, similar to the uniqueness of the three women, is intrinsically distinct and should be noted for that fact. Addressing the West Indian situation, Lemuel Johnson quotes Alain Brossat, who sums up the “predicament of the West Indian” in the following words: “The uniqueness of the West Indian situation is precisely the absence of a pre-colonial homeland.” 5. Although that kind of absence is a unique phenomenon, it is also complicated, made more so because of the absence also of a postcolonial homeland, in the case of the French colonies, namely, Guadeloupe and Martinique. These complications are underscored when one speaks of or, rather, seeks a homeland elsewhere than his or her place of origin.

____________________
by enacting physical journeys. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the Caribbean is almost always, especially in the case of Marshall and Kincaid, the source and topic of their literary works and discussions.
4.
Selwyn R. Cudjoe, ed., Caribbean Women Writers: Essays from the First International Conference, 5 , 6.
5.
Lemuel Johnson, “Sisters of Anarcha: Speculum in a New World? Caribbean Literature and a Feminist Hermeneutics,” 243.

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