Caribbean Literature

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The literature of the Caribbean is exceptional, both in language and subject. More than a million and a half Africans, along with many Indians and South Asians, were brought to the Caribbean between the 15th and 19th centuries. Today, their descendants are active in literature and the arts, producing literature with strong and direct ties to traditional African expressions. This literary connection, combined with the tales of survival, exile, resistance, endurance, and emigration to other parts of the Americas, makes for a body of work that is essential for the study of the Caribbean and the Black Diaspora--and indeed central for our understanding of the New World. And yet the works are often hard to find or altogether lost. Thomas MacDermot's Becka's Buckra Baby (1904) is said to mark the beginning of modern Caribbean writing, and yet today this work is listed neither in WorldCat nor Amazon, and many of the major libraries of the world have no copies. Other seminal works published by Jamaica's first indigenous publishing house, such as MacDermot's One Brown Girl (1909), E.A. Dodd's Maroon Medicine (1905), and W.A. Campbell's Marguarite: A Story of the Earthquake (1907), also are not easily accessible. Even today, authors from the region struggle to get their works published. Caribbean Literature from Alexander Street Press remedies this, with more than 100,000 pages of poems, drama, novels, stories, and related material at completion--carefully located and secured from archives and rare book libraries, licensed from local publishing houses, and received from the authors themselves. At last, scholars will have a stable, unified, cross-searchable collection for studying these important works.

Email Carrie Carrie Waibel

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