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Precarious PassagesThe Diasporic Imagination in Contemporary Black Anglophone Fiction$
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Tuire Valkeakari

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062471

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062471.001.0001

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Roots, Routes, and Returns

Roots, Routes, and Returns

Caryl Phillips’s, Cecil Foster’s, and Edwidge Danticat’s Caribbean Returnees

Chapter:
(p.177) 5 Roots, Routes, and Returns
Source:
Precarious Passages
Author(s):

Tuire Valkeakari

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062471.003.0006

This chapter examines Caryl Phillips’s, Cecil Foster’s, and Edwidge Danticat’s depictions of contemporary African Caribbean encounters with the United States and Canada, with a particular focus on the complexities of “return”—a theme that facilitates discussions about “origins” and “home” and about formations of both diasporic and national identities and solidarities. A State of Independence (Phillips), Sleep on, Beloved (Foster), and Breath, Eyes, Memory (Danticat) all depict black Caribbean-born diasporans’ return trips back to the Caribbean. In all their complexity, these visits and their existential consequences play a pivotal role in how Phillips’s, Foster’s, and Danticat’s protagonists interpret their pasts and envision their future identities as members of their families, of two nations, of the Caribbean diaspora, and of the African diaspora.

Keywords:   Caryl Phillips, A State of Independence, Cecil Foster, Sleep on, Beloved, Edwidge Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory, return

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