Book Cover Image of From Nation to Diaspora: Samuel Selvon, George Lamming and the Cultural Performance of Gender by Curdella Forbes

From Nation to Diaspora: Samuel Selvon, George Lamming and the Cultural Performance of Gender
by Curdella Forbes

    Publication Date: Sep 30, 2005
    List Price: $40.00
    Format: Paperback, 305 pages
    Classification: Nonfiction
    ISBN13: 9789766401719
    Imprint: University of the West Indies Press
    Publisher: University of the West Indies Press
    Parent Company: University of the West Indies Press
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    Paperback Description:

    This book is the first comprehensive treatment of gender in the works of Samuel Selvon and George Lamming, two important West Indian writers who are rarely analysed together. It demystifies nationalist discourses and discourses of creolization showing that these have masked gender inequalities and complexities in West Indian society, and that the maskings are in turn part of a larger masking of neocolonial threads within nationalism. Forbes situates the fictions of Selvon and Lamming within the wider field of West Indian social thought and practice, and she demonstrates that gender is foundational within West Indian revolutionary action - a fact consistently ignored in mainstream discourses, including feminist ones. These two West Indians’ treatments of gender belong to a revolutionary poetics of liberation in West Indian culture but are deeply compromised by the nationalist engagements and the nationalist context of the 1950s-1970s. Lamming’s treatment of it, anticipates and problematizes the concepts of postmodernity and postmodernism, which have entered West Indian discourse via postcolonial discourse and the work of migration on West Indian theory and criticism. The book concludes by looking towards these discourses that are now playing major roles in West Indian thought. Forbes links West Indian nationalism and the fictions of Selvon and Lamming into a dialogue with the concepts of diasproa, postmodernity and postmodernism, raising the issue of how the latter have impacted on the representation and formation of West Indian gender identities. She then considers the implications of these discourses for West Indian writing, West Indian theory and, above all, West Indian survival and identity in a postmodern, essentially neocolonized world.



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