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Creole Renegades

Rhetoric of Betrayal and Guilt in the Caribbean Diaspora

Bénédicte Boisseron

Publication Year: 2014

In Creole Renegades, Bénédicte Boisseron looks at exiled Caribbean authors—Edwidge Danticat, Jamaica Kincaid, V. S. Naipaul, Maryse Condé, Dany Laferriére, and more—whose works have been well received in their adopted North American countries but who are often viewed by their home islands as sell-outs, opportunists, or traitors.

These expatriate and second-generation authors refuse to be simple bearers of Caribbean culture, often dramatically distancing themselves from the postcolonial archipelago. Their writing is frequently infused with an enticing sense of cultural, sexual, or racial emancipation, but their deviance is not defiant.

Underscoring the typically ignored contentious relationship between modern diaspora authors and the Caribbean, Boisseron ultimately argues that displacement and creative autonomy are often manifest in guilt and betrayal, central themes that emerge again and again in the work of these writers.

Published by: University Press of Florida


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Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication, Quote

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xii

In 1999, after forty years in the French métropole, my father, a négropolitain, and my mother, a French métropolitaine, took the entire family to Guadeloupe for a visit. In the streets of Pointe-à-Pitre, a stranger hailed my father: “Hey, you are not from Guadeloupe, right?” “Not for a while,” my father admitted. ...

Note on Translations

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Introduction: The Second-Generation Caribbean Diaspora

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pp. 1-27

In a 1985 public lecture in Toronto, Canada, the Barbadian-born George Lamming told the crowd, “Wherever you are, outside of the Caribbean, it should give you not only comfort, but a sense of cultural obligation, to feel that you are an important part of the Caribbean as external frontier.”1 ...

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1. Anatole Broyard: Racial Betrayal and the Art of Being Creole

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pp. 28-56

Racial passing, a concept that derives from the context of Jim Crow America, initially refers to people who are legally black but visually identified as white, who choose to pass for white in spite of the one-drop rule. The anthropologist Marvin Harris coined the term for the taxonomical practice of the one-drop rule: hypodescent. ...

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2. Maryse Condé’s Histoire de la femme cannibale: Coming Out in the French Antilles

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pp. 57-89

Following the footsteps of Aimé Césaire’s Une tempête, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, or Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, based on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Maryse Condé contributes to the tradition of Caribbean revisionism in her novel La migration des coeurs (Windward Heights, 1998), a Creole variation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. ...

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3. Edwidge Danticat and Dany Laferrière: Parasitic and Remittance Diaspora

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pp. 90-129

Peter Hallward, the author of a book on the former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, writes in his preface, “This is not a book motivated by any personal association with Haiti. . . . A philosopher and a literary critic by training, I have visited Haiti only twice, and make no claim to the sort of insider or anthropological knowledge that authorizes much published work on the country.”1 ...

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4. V. S. Naipaul and Jamaica Kincaid: Rhetoric of National Dis-Allegiance

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pp. 130-155

As Stuart Hall observes, “What we say is always ‘in context,’ positioned.”1 Admittedly, determining the context of the enunciative production is a crucial step in the reception of a statement given that the point of emission helps define the meaning of the enunciation. ...

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5. Creole versus Bossale Renegade: “Turfism” in the Black Diaspora of the Americas

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pp. 156-180

Questioning the role of individualism in diasporic cultures seems like a suitable way to close a book on the Creole renegade. The shift from the collective to the individual experienced by the black diaspora of the Americas has been mostly unaccounted for in studies about modern black displacement. ...


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pp. 181-202


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pp. 203-214


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pp. 215-224

E-ISBN-13: 9780813048918
E-ISBN-10: 0813048915
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813049793

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 880059543
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Creole Renegades

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Creoles -- Caribbean Area.
  • Creole literature -- North America.
  • Caribbean Area -- Emigration and immigration.
  • West Indians -- Migrations.
  • Ethnicity -- Caribbean Area.
  • Nationalism -- Caribbean Area.
  • Broyard, Anatole.
  • Condé, Maryse.
  • Danticat, Edwidge, 1969-.
  • Laferrière, Dany.
  • Naipaul, V. S. (Vidiadhar Surajprasad), 1932-.
  • Kincaid, Jamaica.
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