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Anne Goodwyn Jones


Daughters of A People and Culture

Autumn 2002 | Criticism

Caroline Rody's revisionary literary criticism offers new and persuasive ways to understand the "renaissance" of African-American women writers and of Caribbean women writers during the past three decades. What has allowed U.S. writers Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Phyllis Alesia Perry, Gloria Naylor, Paule Marshall, Octavia Butler, Jewelle Gomez, and Lucille Clifton—along with filmmaker Julie Dash—their enormous productivity? What allowed Caribbean writers Merle Hodge, Simone Schwarz-Bart, Lorna Goodison, Jamaica Kincaid, Jean Rhys, Michelle Cliff, Maryse Condé to emerge at the same time with similar power? And, more to Rody's point, what connects and what distinguishes their preoccupations and concerns? A brilliant close reader, Rody answers by locating metaphoric and structural paradigms across these texts that suggest historical answers. The title provides the first set of clues.