Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles

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Thomas Glave
Duke University Press, 2008 - Literary Collections - 405 pages
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The first book of its kind, Our Caribbean is an anthology of lesbian and gay writing from across the Antilles. The author and activist Thomas Glave has gathered outstanding fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and poetry by little-known writers together with selections by internationally celebrated figures such as José Alcántara Almánzar, Reinaldo Arenas, Dionne Brand, Michelle Cliff, Audre Lorde, Achy Obejas, and Assotto Saint. The result is an unprecedented literary conversation on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experiences throughout the Caribbean and its far-flung diaspora. Many selections were originally published in Spanish, Dutch, or creole languages; some are translated into English here for the first time.

The thirty-seven authors hail from the Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, Suriname, and Trinidad. Many have lived outside the Caribbean, and their writing depicts histories of voluntary migration as well as exile from repressive governments, communities, and families. Many pieces have a political urgency that reflects their authors' work as activists, teachers, community organizers, and performers. Desire commingles with ostracism and alienation throughout: in the evocative portrayals of same-sex love and longing, and in the selections addressing religion, family, race, and class. From the poem "Saturday Night in San Juan with the Right Sailors" to the poignant narrative "We Came All the Way from Cuba So You Could Dress Like This?" to an eloquent call for the embrace of difference that appeared in the Nassau Daily Tribune on the eve of an anti-gay protest, Our Caribbean is a brave and necessary book.

Contributors: José Alcántara Almánzar, Aldo Alvarez, Reinaldo Arenas, Rane Arroyo, Jesús J. Barquet, Marilyn Bobes, Dionne Brand, Timothy S. Chin, Michelle Cliff, Wesley E. A. Crichlow,
Mabel Rodríguez Cuesta, Ochy Curiel, Faizal Deen, Pedro de Jesús, R. Erica Doyle, Thomas Glave,
Rosamond S. King, Helen Klonaris, Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, Audre Lorde, Shani Mootoo,
Anton Nimblett, Achy Obejas, Leonardo Padura Fuentes, Virgilio Piñera, Patricia Powell, Kevin Everod Quashie, Juanita Ramos, Colin Robinson, Assotto Saint, Andrew Salkey, Lawrence Scott,
Makeda Silvera, H. Nigel Thomas, Rinaldo Walcott, Gloria Wekker, Lawson Williams


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Lulu or the Metamorphosis 1995
a L DO ALVAREZ Puerto Rico
rane ARROYO Puerto RicoU
Somebody Has to Cry 1998
dionne brand Trinidad
IOI WESLEY E A C RI C H L O w Trinidad
faizal deen GuyanaTrinidad
HELEN klonaris Bahamas
A New Spelling Johnnie London i960 i960


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About the author (2008)

Thomas Glave is the author of Whose Song? And Other Stories; the essay collection Words to Our Now: Imagination and Dissent, a Lambda Literary Award winner; and the forthcoming short fiction collection, The Torturer's Wife. Born to Jamaican parents in the Bronx and raised there and in Jamaica, Glave is a founding member of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG). He teaches in the English Department at the State University of New York, Binghamton, and is the 2008–2009 Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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