Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-pkshj Total loading time: 0.271 Render date: 2021-12-05T21:54:41.227Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

6 - “The End of Traceable Beginnings”: Poetics of Urban Longing and Belonging in Dionne Brand's What We All Long For

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2012

Caroline Rosenthal
Affiliation:
Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany
Get access

Summary

The place where all names were forgotten and all beginnings recast. In some desolate sense it was the creation place of Blacks in the New World Diaspora at the same time that it signified the end of traceable beginnings.

— Dionne Brand, A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging

Dionne Brand's 2005 novelWhat We All Long For delves into the daily multicultural realities of Toronto. The novel scrutinizes the encounters and exchanges between people who have different histories of belonging as well as longings for the future. Dionne Brand has been one of Canada's most articulate and outspoken voices on issues of racism, sexism, and the effects of capitalism within the nation state. In many different capacities — as an award-winning poet, novelist, essayist, and filmmaker as well as political activist and teacher — she has counteracted the invisibility of black people in Canadian political, social, and literary discourses. Brand's texts rewrite the history and literary canon of a nation that, despite the massive immigration of people from all parts of the world, still fundamentally perceives of itself as a northern and European nation. Altering this “unchanging narrative” involves an analysis of institutionalized racism, which prevails despite a state policy of multiculturalism, as well as of the material conditions that keep blacks from fully participating in economic and political power. Yet, since “the making of Canadian literature has coincided, in many respects, with the making of the Canadian state” it also entails the contribution of stories to the literary canon that document the diversity of black life, history, and experience in Canada.

Type
Chapter
Information
New York and Toronto Novels after Postmodernism
Explorations of the Urban
, pp. 215 - 263
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×