This essay utilizes an alternative politics of directionality as a way of reentering the mid-twentieth-century Caribbean literary archive. Rather than focusing on Windrush as the main orienting point, this discussion examines and regrounds what events and institutions in Jamaica might tell us about the literary 1950s. Beginning by rethinking the historiographical gaze toward London, the author then raises key questions about what the narrative of the founding of the English department at the University College of the West Indies and the work of Focus magazine in Jamaica might tell us about the development of literary culture in the Caribbean. The author ends by thinking about how a focus on returns might also help us to rethink the decade. The essay examines instances of migrant returns, through which people recrossed the waters, and explores literary remittances that saw the role and function of the London scene being debated and contested within the region.

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