This essay argues that Jamaican-American Michelle Cliff's writing should be understood within a new interpretive framework which sees post-independence Caribbean literature as inheriting gendered and raced legacies of Romantic nationalism. While Cliff's early work shows the appeal of Romantic nationalism as a means of establishing national authenticity, her later work demonstrates how these norms, when transmitted to postcolonial black nationalism, displace more complex notions of national identity that take into account racial, sexual, and cultural hybridity.

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