What Do I Read Next?
Annie John, also written by Jamaica Kincaid (1983), traces the story of a young girl’s coming of age and her tumultuous relationship with her mother. The novel takes place on the island of Antigua, Kincaid’s birthplace, and was one of the three finalists for the 1985 international Ritz Paris Hemingway Award.
Her True-True Name: An Anthology of Women’s Writing from the Caribbean, provides an excellent introduction not only to the lives of thirtyone Caribbean authors, but to their fiction as well. This collection, which includes short stories and excerpts from longer pieces, was compiled and edited by Pamela Mordecai and Betty Wilson.
Tsitsi Dangarembga, who is from Zimbabwe, has also written a girl’s coming of age novel. Nervous Conditions,which was published in 1988, tells the story of many women and their lives under colonial rule. Alice Walker stated that Nervous Conditions ‘‘is an expression of liberation not to be missed.’’
The second edition (1995) of West Indian Literature, provides an overview of Caribbean literature and includes a section on contemporary women writers. Bruce King, the text’s editor, has divided the book into two sections: Historical Survey and Significant Authors. The authors included in the second section are Jean Rhys, Edgar Mittelholzer, Wilson Harris, Samuel Selvon, George Lamming, Derek Walcott, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, V.S. Naipaul, Earl Lovelace and Trevor Rhone.
Things Fall Apart (1959) by Chinua Achebe portrays life in the Igbo people of Nigeria. Particularly, it tells about the disintegration of their society under colonialism. This novel is often used as a sourcebook in Anthropology classes because of its cultural richness, and is understood by many to be Achebe’s literary reaction to Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
Islands of the Commonwealth Caribbean: A Regional Study (1989), which was edited by Sandra Meditz and Dennis Hanratty for the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress introduces a general overview of West Indian history, culture, and society. It also provides specific chapters about Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, The Windward islands, Barbados, the Leeward islands, and the Northern islands. Each chapter is broken into the following topics: history, geography, politics, economic issues, health and welfare concerns, foreign relations, national security issues, and education.