The book takes a pan-Caribbean approach, with chapters addressing the Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanophone, and Dutch-speaking Caribbean. Part 1 traces the emergence of a Caribbean-Jewish literary culture in SuriName, St. Thomas, Jamaica, and Cuba from the late eighteenth century through the early twentieth century. Part 2 brings into focus Sephardic and crypto-Jewish motifs in contemporary Caribbean literature, while Part 3 turns to the question of colonialism and its relationship to Holocaust memory. The volume concludes with the compelling voices of contemporary Caribbean creative writers.
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Number of pages: 352
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
" Caribbean Jewish Crossings will make a significant contribution to diaspora, Caribbean, and Jewish studies, as well as to related fields (postcolonial, Holocaust, and American studies) because it provides a wide-ranging and accessible introduction to a largely overlooked yet critical aspect of Caribbean history and literary history. Sarah Phillips Casteel and Heidi Kaufman are the leading scholars in the field, and they have included an impressively broad selection of scholarship."
On the heels on Sarah Phillips Casteel's ground-breaking study of Jewishness in the Caribbean, Calypso Jews, this excellent collection, co-edited with Casteel and Heidi Kaufman, continues to explore this important and generally neglected nexus. The discourse around "Blacks and Jews" has often overlooked the historically and culturally rich points of intersection between these groups in the Caribbean. Diasporic Caribbean literature as well as native texts reflect these overlaps in fascinating ways that Caribbean Jewish Crossings, organized thematically, foregrounds. The anthology includes scholarly essays as well as creative and thoughtful works by Caribbean and other writers. A beautiful reflection from the thoughtful and prolific English-Caribbean writer Caryl Phillips tells the origin story of one of his most fascinating texts, The Nature of Blood. The novel, he tells us, was largely written out of the familiar spaces of New York, London, and St. Kitts, in Bangkok, in diaspora, in a state of foreignness. As he wove the stories together that would form into this intricate novel, Phillips was reminded how "appallingly circular history can be, how replete with ironies, how chilling.