Increased criticism and representations of violence in contemporary Jamaica often account for these tensions by citing poverty or gang and political rivalries in the post-independence era. However, both Marlon James's The Book of Night Women (2009) and Margaret Cezair-Thompson's The True History of Paradise (1999) take these explorations a step further, specifically examining women's responses to violence and reminding readers that present-day sexual violence creates conditions of entrapment, hostility, and lawlessness reminiscent of the barbarities of slavery and colonialism. In so doing, the authors highlight the ways historical gender and racial stereotypes inform contemporary understandings of Caribbean gender and sexuality. Anchoring this discussion in recent theories about sex and sexuality and specifically examining mixed-race and white Caribbean women, Sam Vásquez argues that both authors use neo–slave narrative tropes to simultaneously problematize acts of violence against these individuals and demonstrate how women engaged and even utilized limiting colonial paradigms.
Violent Liaisons: Historical Crossings and the Negotiation of Sex, Sexuality, and Race in The Book of Night Women and The True History of Paradise
Sam Vásquez; Violent Liaisons: Historical Crossings and the Negotiation of Sex, Sexuality, and Race in The Book of Night Women and The True History of Paradise. Small Axe 1 July 2012; 16 (2 (38)): 43–59. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-1665668
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