Literature of the Caribbean

by Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert


Helps students use contemporary Caribbean literature to understand the cultural and social concerns of that region.

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Cover image for Literature of the Caribbean

August 2008


Pages 256
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics The Arts/World Literature

The Caribbean is an exotic but not too distant land, full of rich cultural traditions. The literature of the Caribbean reflects the social, political, and cultural concerns of the region and is a valuable tool for learning about the area and its people. This book includes chapters on roughly a dozen contemporary Caribbean writers. Along with plot summaries, these sections discuss major themes and give close attention to how Caribbean culture figures in the writer's texts. To help students conduct further research, each chapter cites works for further reading.


  • Each chapter provides a brief biography, followed by a critical analysis of one or more significant literary works. These discussions consider the plot and themes of the texts and examine how the literary works reflect Caribbean cultural and social issues. Students in literature courses will value this book as a guide to popular works by Caribbean writers, while students in social studies courses will learn how to use literature to study Caribbean culture.
Table of Contents

Preface1. Introduction2. Michael Anthonys The Year in San Fernando3. Alejo Carpentiers The Kingdom of this World4. Michelle Cliffs Abeng5. Maryse Conds I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem6. Raphael Confints Mamzelle Dragonfly7. Edwidge Danticats Breath, Eyes, Memory8. Zee Edgells Beka Lamb9. Magali Garca Ramiss Happy Days, Uncle Sergio10. Jamaica Kincaids Annie John11. Mayra Monteros The Messenger12. V. S. Naipauls The Mystic Masseur13. Patricia Powells A Small Gathering of Bones14. Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea15. Simone Schwarz-Barts The Bridge of Beyond16. Derek Walcotts Omeros17. Joseph Zobels Black Shack Alley18. Works Cited



"Any high school to college-level library strong in Caribbean world literature will find Literature of the Caribbean a powerful survey. From the analysis of Jamaica Kincaid to Michelle Cliff, extensive biographical and literary histroy for selected Caribbean authors tie into the underlying writings of Caribbean authors as a whole, making this an invaluable survey for any student of the region as a whole."—Midwest Book Review - The Bookwatch

"Accessibly written and filled with penetrating insights, this book will prove a vital interpretive tool for both previously unacquainted readers and symbol-seeking scholars. Highly recommended for all literature collections."—Library Journal

"… this guide will serve students as useful introduction to a powerful regional literature."—Lawrence Looks at Books

"The introduction to this book is worth reading as it explains the choices and selections made by the author. Literature of the Caribbean will be a worthy addition to other undergraduate guides to Caribbean literature."—ARBA

"Recommended for college libraries."—Catholic Library World

". . . an excellent option. . . Literature of the Caribbean is a highly organized volume designed with students in mind and would make a valuable teaching and research tool for undergraduate college and university students, or anyone who has general interest in Caribbean literature."—College & Research Libraries

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