Rewriting the Return to Africa

Rewriting the Return to Africa

Rewriting the Return to Africa

Voices of Francophone Caribbean Women Writers

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Rowman & Littlefield Group

    François, Anne M.




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François's engaging study of three Francophone Caribbean women writers--Guadeloupeans Maryse Condé, Simone Schwarz-Bart, and Myriam Warner-Vieyra--provides an interesting take on an old theme (taken up principally by male Caribbean writers): the allegorization of Africa as the nurturing mother. For these women, Africa assumes an opposite, though unfulfilling, patriarchal figure. In looking at two of the giants of Francophone Caribbean writing, Condé and Schwartz-Bart, and the less-known Warner-Vieyra, François (Eastern Univ.) differentiates the Antillean male/female sentiment of a mythical return to Africa. Reminiscent of Chantal Kalisa's Violence in Francophone African and Caribbean Women's Literature (CH, Jul'10, 47-6129), which took a feminist perspective in opposition to the patriarchal discourse of male writers in the Caribbean diaspora, the present title provides fresh feminist interpretations of the nostalgic yearnings for a welcoming Africa. In considering each author's search for Caribbean self-identity, François extends beyond the limitations imposed by the negritude and Creole of pre- and post-independence writing; she envisions writings by the women as a willful act of cultural identity rooted in the Caribbean rather than in a search of a mythical nurturing Africa. For these women, writing is a migratory journey that reconnects yearnings for identity to renewed Caribbean feminist understanding of self. Summing Up: Recommended.


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