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Recent and Forthcoming Publications

Lantana Strangling IxoraS. Persaud

by Sasenarine Persaud

September 2011

This collection is as much about love and people in and out of relationships as it is about origins and the process of estrangement. The lantana is a flower of South American origin, and the ixora of Asian origin. The lantana, a creeper that grows profusely, often engulfing other plants, provides a ready metaphor for the consciousness of the Americas overcoming that of India in the Americas—the mainstreaming and divesting of yoga from its Hindu origins being the most visible manifestation. This collection ranges widely in its geographical and historical concerns, from Canada to Guyana to India and places in between, exploring the contradictions in our lives: familial influences, terrorism, literature, politics, race, and the power of language and representation. As always in Persaud’s work, love is ever present. This is a collection that displays mastery over nuances of language, and is at once quirky and humorous as it continues an engagement with the theme of “place as muse.”

 

I RATHER DEAD. A Spivakian Reading of Indo-Caribbean Women's Narratives. I rather dead

by Dorota Goluch

Roman Books 2011

Within the already colonized and marginalized Indo-Caribbean communities, Indo-Caribbean women can be considered a discriminated group, and their (self-)representation may be analyzed as subaltern speech. This book discusses fiction and other stories of Indo-Caribbean women, concentrating on their attempts to rewrite ‘regulative psychobiographies’, as the postcolonial feminist critic Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak calls traditional narratives dominating women's lives. Attempting to bear witness to gender, race, and class differences, this analysis interrogates how the attempted self-expression is mediated, retrieved and read by others. It also demonstrates that, depending on the position and power of the parties involved in the processes of representation, intervention into oppressive scripts can assume very different forms. The author believes that recognition of all the different forms of speaking—through words, silences, languages, actions, bodies, etc.—can help to make the intervention happen and the subaltern voice heard. For any scholar researching on the feminist, postmodern or postcolonial aspects of Caribbean women’s writings this analysis by Dorota Goluch will act as an indispensible companion.

 

BreakOUT: Surviving Abuse and Alcoholism - This is My Story

May 2011

Breakout

by Sukree Boodram

Raised in a traditional Hindu household, West Indian born Sukree Boodram was taught early on that women should adhere to their cultural and traditional norms and submit to their husbands, even when being abused, in order to keep the family together. She broke these expectations and published “Breakout: Surviving Abuse and Alcoholism – This is My Story”, a memoir that aims to display the courage she gained by standing up to her abuser and extricating herself and her children from an abusive relationship.

 

Bindi: The Multifaceted Lives of Indo-Caribbean Women

Edited by Rosanne Kanhai

Bindi University of West Indies Press, 2011


The pride and boldness of the bindi -- not to be missed in the center of the forehead -- is an outward manifestation of the intellectual, cultural and spiritual strengths upon which Indo-Caribbean women draw to develop themselves. This collection of essays uses the bindi as a theoretic al lens to present research and analysis of the experiences of Indo-Caribbean women through structures such as religion, history, language, performance and creative expressions. It is a significant contribution to knowledge about the Caribbean and more generally about women moving forward from a history of colonization to claim space in a globalized world.

Rosanne Kanhai is Professor of English and Women's Studies Director, Western Washington University. She is the author of three books, The Green Face Man: Poetry and Short Fiction; Rage and Renewal: Poetry and Short Fiction; and Matikor: The Politics of Identity for Indo-Caribbean Women, and several journal articles.

 

Racial Ethnic Imbalance in Guyana Public Bureaucracies: The Tension between Exclusion and Representation

By Prem Misir

Edwin Mellen Press, 2010

This study explores the political participation levels of two major ethnic groups in Guyana, Indians and Africans. It is the first book on Guyana to empirically analyze to what extent the Guyanese society is divided along ethnic lines which feed into the political system, fostering the marginalization of the un/under-represented. Historical and contemporary data on education, health and allocation of public services are used. This study on ethnic participation in the public service has its genesis in the perpetual perception of racial division between Africans and Indians; whatever racial discord exists today is not new; it has historical antecedents. The perennial nature of these perceptions should force power holders to take a closer look at the whole question of race relations in the society, with special reference to ethnic dominance, ethnic imbalance in the public service bureaucracy, or non-representative bureaucracy, and inferences for organizational involvement.

 

V.S. Naipaul: Ecriture de l'altérité, altérité de l'écriture

Naipaul

By Florence Labaune-Demeule

Pairs: Michel Houdiard Editeur, June 2010

Né au coeur de la petite île caribéenne de Trinidad, de parents d'origine indienne, V.S. Naipaul a toujours été confronté à l'altérité et au multiculturalisme des sociétés créoles. Ses nombreux voyages en Amérique, en Afrique, en Inde, dans certains pays musulmans, ainsi que son installation au Royaume-Uni en ont fait un des plus grands écrivains-voyageurs de notre temps, ce qui lui vaut souvent d'être considéré comme un " world writer ". L'altérité se trouve donc au centre de son oeuvre littéraire - dans sa fiction, ses récits de voyages et ses essais.

Elle est à la fois une thématique essentielle des récits et une des caractéristiques principales de l'écriture : tout en utilisant le canon littéraire, Naipaul le remodèle sans cesse, ce qui conduit parfois à voir en lui un écrivain " autre ". C'est à une analyse de cette double thématique - l'écriture de l'altérité et l'altérité de l'écriture - qu'invite ce recueil d'articles.

 

Post-Colonial Trinidad. An Ethnographic JournalPostcolonial Trinidad Colin Clarke

By Colin Clarke and Gillian Clarke

Palgrave Mcmillian, 2010.

Clarke and Clarke have created a journal that provides an ethnographic record of the East Indians and Creoles of San Fernando--and the entire sugar belt south of the town known as Naparima. They record socio-political relations during the second year of Trinidad’s independence (1964), and provide first-hand evidence for the workings of a complex, plural society in which race, religion, and politics had become, and have remained, deeply intertwined. Entries occur whenever there is evidence of social scientific importance to the project, and these range from descriptions of weddings and pujas (prayer ceremonies devoted to a Hindu deity) to interviews with religious leaders, politicians and members of the south Trinidad elite.

 

Colonial Inventions: Landscape, Power and Representation in Nineteenth-Century TrinidadAmar Wahab

By Amar Wahab

Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010

This book situates its contemplation of the nineteenth-century Trinidadian landscape in the context of an emerging sub-field of Caribbean postcolonial studies, by connecting the visual representation and indexing of colonial landscapes and peoples with the making of colonial power. Emphasis is placed on three pivotal image catalogues which span the pre and post emancipation periods and which connect the projects of British slavery and indentureship. The book unearths sketches, paintings, lithographs and engravings and analyzes them as central to the iconic framing and disciplining of colonized subjects, tropical nature and the plantation landscape. Focusing on the image works of British travellers Richard Bridgens and Charles Kingsley and Creole artist, Michel Jean Cazabon, the chapters consider how an aesthetic logic was not only illustrative but constitutive of racialized and gendered scripts of colonial landscapes, nature and identity.

While these various strands of aesthetic reasoning reveal a seemingly coherent operation of colonial power, they also register the very ambiguity of these disciplinary projects in moments of uncertainty regarding the amelioration of African slavery, the emancipation of slavery, and the highly contested project of Indian indentureship in the Caribbean. The book reflects the dynamic instability of colonial inventive projects manifest in a period of experimental and troubled British rule that potentially frustrates any attempt to recover the truth of Caribbean colonial reality.

 

Dilemmas of Deokiecarol_sammy_sl75_.jpg

By Carol Sammy

Heinemann Caribbean Writers Series, 2010

Dilemmas of Deokie is a brand new addition to the Heinemann Caribbean Writers Series, published in January 2010. The novel includes a map of Trinidad and Tobago and a glossary of the dialect words used in the story.

Set in the outskirts of San Fernando, Trinidad, Dilemmas of Deokie follows nineteen-year-old Deokie Ramoutar as she struggles to come to terms with the challenges her country faces and her emerging ambition to transform her own life and the lives of those around her.

The novel portrays the close community surrounding Deokie, the life of her family and her friends, with its laughter, heartache and occasional tragedy. Most of all it explores the feelings of a younger generation getting to grips with the conflicting demands of traditional cultural expectations and the heady attractions of contemporary life.

 

Imaging the Caribbean: Culture and Visual TranslationImagining the Caribbean

By Patricia Mohammed

MacMillan Caribbean, 2009

This ground-breaking study of the region’s iconography explores how aCaribbean sensibility has been shaped. It circles the Caribbean while focusing on Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados, tracing the indelible parameters drawn on each society by the colonial encounter, crossing the boundaries of disciplines and the methodologies and material of history, literature, art, gender and cultural studies.

Including hundreds of images, from Aboriginal drawings and artifacts, European paintings, photographs and sculptures, to Hindu jhandi and Haitian vèvè, Imaging the Caribbean is a study of visual representation of the Caribbean as perceived by outsider and insider alike over the last five hundred years.

The book reveals a perspective of the Caribbean as not only conquered territory on which empires were built, but where cultures were reborn in the new world, where adaptability and willingness to accept the Other has created an interlocking mosaic in which all peoples are reflected. Indeed, it asks how we might continue to shape the imagination of the Caribbeanand of culture itself.

 

Searching for Mr. Chin: Constructions of Nation and the Chinese in West Indian LiteratureSearching for Mr Chin

By Anne-Marie Lee-Loy

Temple University Press 2010

What do twentieth-century fictional images of the Chinese reveal about the construction of nationhood in the former West Indian colonies? In her groundbreaking interdisciplinary work, Searching for Mr. Chin, Anne-Marie Lee-Loy seeks to map and understand a cultural process of identity formation: "Chineseness" in the West Indies. Reading behind the stereotypical image of the Chinese in the West Indies, she compares fictional representations of Chinese characters in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Guyana to reveal the social and racial hierarchies present in literature by popular authors such as V.S. Naipaul and Samuel Selvon, as well as lesser known writers and hard to access literary texts.

Using historical, discursive, and theoretical frameworks for her literary analysis, Lee-Loy shows how the unstable and ambiguous "belonging" afforded to this "middleman minority" speaks to the ways in which narrative boundaries of the nation are established. In addition to looking at how Chinese have been viewed as "others," Lee-Loy examines self-representations of "Chineseness" and how they complicate national narratives of belonging.

 

A River Dreams Redriverdreamsred

By Churaumanie Bissundyal

Xlibris - The Author 2009

Bane, to earn money to support his poor parents of Iguana Island, goes to the hinterland of Kassaku to work as a teacher. Staying at Mr. Sampat’s home, he has to battle with the double agony of Mr. Sampat’s distrust of him and of the two Sampat girls’, Moreen’s and Riya’s, amatory advances. Jealous of Bane, Moreen’s boyfriend, William, attempts to stab Bane, but his knife plunges into Moreen’s heart and kills her instead. In this way, Bane finds himself trapped between murder and love. Will he survive the agony, dangers, schemes and loneliness? This epic tells how he circumvents dangers in a wild jungle and defeats the insidious minds of the river inhabitants to achieve his goals. The novel also has adventitious stories of Father Hodge’s prison life in Stalug Luft in Germany and of the Spaniards’ coming to the Caribbean, exploring history, traditions and the rain forest of South America to tell a story that has journeys and implications both in the inner and outer worlds.

 

Modern Western Fiction and Sanskrit Aesthetics and Theory: A Search for a Postcolonial Conceptmodernwesternfiction

By Churaumanie Bissundyal

Xlibris - The Author 2009

A new Idea (Liberal Creativity) shines in this book, Modern Western Fiction and Sanskrit Aesthetics and Theory: A Search for a Postcolonial Concept, bridging the West with the East, exploring a new style in writing, enunciating humanity as one field, and critiquing both Western and Oriental writing. It discusses the stylistic, structural and philosophical approach of Bissundyal’s novel, A River Dreams Red (the first part of his doctoral dissertation), comparing it with other works of Western and Sanskrit tradition. In this process, it announces Bissundyal’s intention to seek a creative path in knowledge through embodied epistemology, reflection, reading and writing, and to seek a creative centre to find a sanctuary for his artistic pursuits. It also draws from post-structuralism’s deconstruction to show Bissundyal’s disenchantment with structures, centres, systems, hegemonies, and “metanarratives” that suppress individuality, free will and creativity.

 

The Island Quintet: Five Stories

book cover

By Raymond Ramcharitar

Peepal Tree Press August 2009

Raymond Ramcharitar’s vision is rooted in Trinidad, but as a globalised island with permeable borders, frequent birds of passage, and outposts in New York and London. One of the collection’s outstanding qualities is that it is both utterly contemporary and written with a profound and disturbed sense of the history that shapes the island. As befits fiction from the home of carnival and mas’, it is a collection much concerned with the flesh - often in transgressive forms as if characters are driven to test their boundaries - and with the capacity of its characters to reinvent themselves in manifold, and sometimes outrageous disguises. One of the masks is race, and the stories are acerbically honest about the way tribal loyalties distort human relations.

 

Mahadai Das

A Leaf in His Ear: Selected Poems

By Mahadai Das

Peepal Tree Press September 2009

The selection includes the whole of Bones and a number of poems written in the period when Mahadai Das was living in the USA. These poems explore more personal themes and in particular write with dazzling bravura on the themes of illness and death.

In addition, A Leaf in His Ear brings together many of the fine poems published in journals and those previously uncollected, from lively, humorous nation language poems to the oblique, highly original poems written in the years after Bones.

 

Brinda Mehta Notions of Identity

Notions of Identity, Diaspora, and Gender in Caribbean Women’s Writing

By Brinda Mehta

Palgrave Macmillan September 2009

Notions of Identity, Diaspora, and Gender in Caribbean Women's Writing uses a unique four-dimensional lens to frame questions of diaspora and gender in the writings of women from Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Haiti. These divergent and interconnected perspectives include violence, trauma, resistance, and expanded notions of Caribbean identity. In these writings, diaspora represents both a wound created by slavery and Indian indenture and the discursive praxis of defining new identities and cultural possibilities. These framings of identity provide inclusive and complex readings of transcultural Caribbean diasporas, especially in terms of gender and minority cultures.

 

miriam

Mythologies of Migration, Vocabularies of Indenture: Novels of the South Asian Diaspora in Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific

By Mariam Pirbhai

University of Toronto Press October 2009

Many emigrants in the South Asian diaspora during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries became indentured labourers in British colonies after the 1833 abolition of slavery. Mythologies of Migration, Vocabularies of Indenture uses the critical paradigm of ‘indenture history’ to examine the local literary and cultural histories that have influenced and shaped the development of novel length fiction in South Asian communities in national contexts as diverse as Mauritius, South Africa, Guyana, and Fiji.