November 14, 2007

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

Our Caribbean is a superb anthology. Thomas Glave does not exaggerate when he writes that this is ‘a book that I and others have been waiting for and have wanted for all our lives.’ Here we have a book that makes literal the ongoing necessity to write ‘against silence.’”—Elizabeth Alexander, author of American Blue: Selected Poems.

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 along with selections by internationally celebrated figures such as Reinaldo Arenas, Audre Lorde, Achy Obejas, Assotto Saint, José Alcántara Almánzar, Michelle Cliff, and Dionne Brand. 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 and 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, 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, Mabel Rodríguez Cuesta, Assotto Saint, Andrew Salkey, Lawrence Scott, Makeda Silvera, H. Nigel Thomas, Rinaldo Walcott, Gloria Wekker, and Lawson Williams.
Thomas Glave is the author of Whose Song? and Other Stories; the essay collection Words to Our Now: Imagination and Dissent, winner of a Lambda 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.
Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles
Thomas Glave, editor
Available May 2008
May 2008. 416 pages
978-0-8223-4226-7. paper $24.95 / $18.70
For more information or to pre-order, please follow this link: Our Caribbean

1 comment:

MFL said...

It is about time that the gay and lesban culture in the west indian islands is highlighted

Anything that contributes positively to visibility for the gay and lesbian community is welcome

Perhaps africa will soon start to acknowledge the existence of us in their communities

Not holding my breath

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