Rewriting the Return to Africa: Voices of Francophone Caribbean Women Writers (Hardback)Anne M. Francois (author)
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Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 146
Weight: 386 g
Dimensions: 240 x 168 x 16 mm
Rewriting the Return to Africa: Voices of Francophone Caribbean Women Writers is a refreshing addition to the scholarship on French Caribbean literature. This book brings an exciting perspective to debates on differences between the productions of a "post-independence" generation of women writers and those of earlier male writers of the Negritude era in relation to their concept of an allegorical Africa. In an incisive analysis of selected novels by Maryse Conde, Simone Schwarz-Bart, and Myriam Warner-Vieyra, Dr. Francois argues persuasively that the subversion of the metaphorical figure of Africa by these women writers is tied to gender, as they challenge masculinist versions of the return to an idealized and mythologized mother/father figure. Dr. Francois presents the intriguing proposition that global nomadism may be the defining characteristic of post-Negritude writers and that, for women writers, the act of writing itself replaces the quest for Africa as a space to seek identity and happiness. This is a fascinating study that brings new insights to texts that have already become canonical and offers alternative interpretations of the preoccupation with identity which plays such a dominant role in the literary history of the French Caribbean. -- E. Anthony Hurley, Ph.D., Stony Brook University
Rewriting the Return to Africa: Voices of Francophone Caribbean Women Writers meticulously demonstrates that the notion of return to Africa - be it metaphorical, physical or spiritual - has a long history in Caribbean literature and culture. The text explores the complexity of return as it relates to identity, language, gender and culture. Ultimately, this book challenges the myths of the return to origins and examines errancy among other possibilities as an alternative to Africa-the father/mother land. -- Cecile Accilien, Columbus State University
Rewriting the Return to Africa makes a long over-due and compelling argument about the way we position women's literature in the Francophone Caribbean tradition. Focusing on works by Maryse Conde, Simone Schwarz-Bart, and Myriam Warner-Vieyra written in the era following African independence, Anne Francois identifies a key recurring trope: Africa as a "disappointing father figure." In tracing the variations on this theme, she shows convincingly that we must identify Caribbean women's writing of this period as constituting a movement in its own right, one that stands as a bridge between Negritude and Creolite. Lucidly written and clearly argued, Rewriting the Return to Africa will be of great interest to students as well as experienced scholars of Francophone Caribbean and post-colonial literatures. -- Valerie Kaussen, University of Missouri-Columbia
Francois's thesis that Conde, Schwarz-Bart, and Warner-Vieyra transformed the myth of Africa as motherland to which Caribbean cultures must necessarily return provides an insightful and original analysis of the role that these now canonical writers have played in Caribbean identity construction. Offering a more complex vision of any Caribbean identity, Francois shows how these three writers advocate global nomadism over mythical return, and an appreciation of metissage and the local over the celebration of Africa, thus postulating a transnational identity, particularly where women are concerned. The first study to bring together these three Guadeloupean writers, and to identify their pivotal role in the development of Franco-Caribbean discourse, this is a useful addition to Caribbean literary studies. Rewriting the Return to Africa will be of interest to scholars of Caribbean, Francophone, and women's writing, and is accessible to an undergraduate as well as a scholarly readership. * Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies *
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