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This volume examines what Caribbean literature looked like before 1920 by surveying the print culture of the period. The emphasis is on narrative, including an enormous range of genres, in varying venues, and in multiple languages of the Caribbean. Essays examine lesser-known authors and writing previously marginalized as nonliterary: popular writing in newspapers and pamphlets; fiction and poetry such as romances, sentimental novels, and ballads; non-elite memoirs and letters, such as the narratives of the enslaved or the working classes, especially women. Many contributions are comparative, multilingual, and regional. Some infer the cultural presence of subaltern groups within the texts of the dominant classes. Almost all of the chapters move easily between time periods, linking texts, writers, and literary movements in ways that expand traditional notions of literary influence and canon formation. Using literary, cultural, and historical analyses, this book provides a complete re-examination of early Caribbean literature.
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