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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 9: The World Novel in English to 1950$
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Ralph Crane, Jane Stafford, and Mark Williams

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199609932

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199609932.001.0001

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The Novel in English in the Caribbean to 1950

The Novel in English in the Caribbean to 1950

(p.115) 6 The Novel in English in the Caribbean to 1950
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Leah Rosenberg

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores English-language novels in the Caribbean. The West Indian novel was seen as a post-Second World War literary phenomenon, the creation of male authors who, born in Britain's Caribbean colonies, began arriving in England in the 1950s as part of a larger wave of Caribbean immigrants. Despite the diverse origins and perspectives of the Anglophone Caribbean's many writers, several dominant themes emerge. West Indian novels comprised a spectrum of direct, indirect, partial, and unwitting deviations from and challenges to English literary genres and ideologies. Novelists were particularly engaged with the ideologies of race and domesticity and the closely linked genre of romance. Nearly all West Indian novels of the nineteenth century were romances featuring elite West Indian heroes who excelled their English counterparts in domestic and civic virtue, while the twentieth century saw the emergence of literature that so revelled in social and sexual disorder that it constituted anti-romance.

Keywords:   English-language novels, West Indian novels, Caribbean writers, Anglophone Caribbean, race, domesticity, romance, anti-romance

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