Narratives of Obeah in West Indian Literature: Moving through the Margins

1st Edition

Janelle Rodriques

Routledge
March 8, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 288 Pages
ISBN 9781138585812 - CAT# K377131

USD$140.00

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Summary

This book explores representations of Obeah, a name used in the English/Creole-speaking Caribbean to describe various African-inspired, syncretic Caribbean religious practices, across a range of prose fictions published in the twentieth century.

In the Caribbean and its diasporas, Obeah often manifests in the casting of spells and/or administering of baths and potions, and sometimes spirit possession, for the purposes of protection, revenge, health and wellbeing, and remains illegal in most Caribbean territories. Narratives of Obeah in West Indian Literature analyses texts that employ Obeah as a symbol of resistance to colonial ideology and marker of the black ‘folk’ aesthetics that are now constitutive of West Indian literary and cultural production. They foreground Obeah as a social and cultural logic both integral to and troublesome within the creation of such a thing as ‘West Indian’ literature and culture. The book explores the presentation of Obeah as an "unruly" narrative subject, allowing for subversion and resistance, as well as its significance in Afro-‘folk’ aesthetics which are now constitutive of West Indian literary and cultural production.

Narratives of Obeah in West Indian Literature will be of interest to scholars and students of Caribbean Literature, Diaspora Studies, and African and Caribbean religious studies, as well as more widely to scholars of the Black Atlantic.

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