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Caribbean Literature after Independence

The Case of Earl Lovelace

Edited by Bill Schwarz

Trinidad, historically located at the crossroads of the Americas, has produced an incomparable national literature, fashioning genres that have informed the Caribbean region as a whole. One of the greatest contemporary Trinidadian writers is Earl Lovelace. His novelistic performative epics combine the rhythms of steelband and calypso with the narrative complexity of Faulkner. Lovelace was an early enthusiast for Black Power and remains an indefatigable critic of the inequalities bequeathed by the post-Independence state. Embracing an aesthetic that seeks out the darkness of the nation—the traces of Africa, the passions of the black dispossessed, the liturgies of the Shouter churches—he strives to imagine a society whichmight at last break free from its colonial past, dramatizing the political and psychic struggles of the poor for selfhood. This is the first published volume to assess Lovelace’s fiction and also his larger role in Caribbean letters. Contributors include J. Dillon Brown (Washington University, St. Louis), Chris Campbell (Queen Mary, University of London), Louis James (emeritus professor, University of Kent), Nicole King (Royal Holloway, University of London),Aaron Love (New York University), Patricia Murray (London Metropolitan University), James Procter (Newcastle University), Kate Quinn (Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London),Tina K. Ramnarine (Royal Holloway, University of London), Bill Schwarz (Queen Mary, University of London), Lawrence Scott (University of Trinidad and Tobago), and John Thieme (University of East Anglia).

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