Encyclopedia of Caribbean Literature
[2 volumes]
by D. H. Figueredo, ed.
December 2005, 1016pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-32742-1
$201, £155, 175€, A276
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-0-313-05995-7
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More than 700 alphabetically arranged entries detail the lives and works of Caribbean authors and provide extensive background information about Caribbean history and culture.

The Caribbean is a part of the world with diverse cultures and a long and fascinating literary tradition. The people of this region have endured through civil strife, poverty, natural disasters, and military conflicts; and their literature reflects their despair and dreams. Accessible to students and general readers, this encyclopedia overviews the lives and works of Caribbean authors. Because Caribbean literature is so much a reflection of regional concerns, the encyclopedia gives special attention to the political, cultural, and historical contexts in which Caribbean authors have lived and worked.

To help with this massive endeavor, scholar and librarian Danilo H. Figueredo has assembled an impressive team of advisors and authors. Included in the encyclopedia are more than 700 alphabetically arranged entries written by more than 20 expert contributors. These entries cover authors, works, genres, historical and cultural figures, themes, and various special topics.

Spanish courses often look at literature from the Caribbean, and many American students trace their roots to that region. An essential reference for high school libraries, this resource will help students and teachers learn more about the literature of the Caribbean and its relation to the political, economic, historical, and social conditions of that area. Public libraries also need this encyclopedia, since many general readers are interested in Caribbean literature and culture.


  • Presents more than 700 alphabetically arranged entries
  • Accumulates the expertise of a distinguished advisory board and more than 20 expert contributors
  • Provides biographical entries on numerous authors and historical figures
  • Cites print and electronic resources
  • Fully cross-references entries
  • Provides an extensive index
  • Includes a generous selection of illustrations
  • Closes with an extensive bibliography


"[A] timely and informative 2-volume tome of who's who in the literary world in the Caribbean region and the Caribbean Diaspora."—New York Amsterdam News, May 3, 2006

"I was impressed with the high quality of the prose; a considerable amount of fact and comment is conveyed painlessly and interestingly... I thoroughly enjoyed my, all too brief canter through the Caribbean literary scene. I am sure others will too."—Reference Reviews, August 1, 2006

"For a region as rich and diverse in cultures, tradition, history, and politics as the Caribbean, reference materials covering Caribbean literature are surprisingly scarce. Perhaps it is that richness and diversity that makes creating a comprehensive encyclopedia of the region's literature difficult--the Caribbean can include or exclude as many areas as any particular editor sees fit. In Encyclopedia of Caribbean Literature, editor Figuerado includes the areas generally considered the Caribbean as well as French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname....The seven-hundred-plus alphabetically arranged entries in this two-volume set focus mostly on writers, covering biographical information, major works, themes, and where the writer fits into the category of Caribbean literature. There are also entries on related topics such as political or artistic movements, cultural identities, literary generations, and so on....Strongly recommended for academic libraries and larger public libraries."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, August 1, 2006

"Aimed at students and general readers, this two-volume reference provides background information on a wide range of Caribbean literature. Arranged alphabetically, most of the more than 700 cross-referenced entries are devoted to individual authors. These feature a biographical profile, a brief analysis of the writer's key works, and a summary of the themes he or she addresses. Other entries cover literary genres, historical figures, cultural leaders, and various special topics. Each entry concludes with a list of relevant books, articles, and websites, and some are also accompanied by a b&w author photo."—Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2006

"One glimpse[s] the richness and complexity of Caribbean writing in these volumes."—Times Literary Supplement, June 23, 2006

"In the plethora of guides to Hispanic, Latino and Latin American writers, Caribbean literature is frequently just a sidelight. With the appearance of this guide, there is finally a reference that focuses the spotlight squarely on the literary efforts of that region. The coverage is deliberately inclusive and encompasses literature in English, French and Spanish, as well as the Creole of Haiti. From slave narratives and abolitionist tracts to dub poetry and exile literature, the full historical spectrum of Caribbean writing is surveyed....D. H. Figueredo has long served as the Latin American bibliographer for the New York Public Library. Many of the 41 contributors and advisory board members work in similar capacities at other research libraries. The remaining contributors are all university teachers or professional journalists. Their scholarly guide will be welcomed in public and academic libraries."—Lawrence Looks at Books, April 1, 2006

"The region's diverse cultural influences and history have led to a unique literary tradition and Encyclopedia of Caribbean Literature examines these influences and traditions, reviewing the lives and works of major Caribbean authors. Here are over seven hundred entries contributed by over 20 experts covering genres, works, themes and more."—The Midwest Book Review/California Bookwatch, April 1, 2006

"More than 700 alphabetically arranged entries cover writers, notable works, genres, national literatures, influential newspapers and journals, well-known organizations and movements, and subjects of particular import to the region, like postcolonialism and voodoo. More than 20 scholars contributed the entries, which range from half of a page to five pages in length and include cross-references and sources for further reading....[t]his is an excellent resource for academic libraries as well as for any public library whose users may be interested in exploring this unusual and emerging body of literature."—Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin, April 15, 2006

"With over 700 entries, the book was written over a three years period and consists of two volumes. Included in the encyclopedia are more that 700 alphabetically arranged entries written by more than 40 expert contributors, of which Figueredo contacted over 20 scholars from across the US and the Caribbean. The encyclopedia is accessible to students and the general readers."—Caribseek Caribbean News, February 16, 2005
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