In Caribbean Literature and the Public Sphere (2011), Raphael Dalleo draws on the concept of the field to note that Caribbean writers often “operate within a constrained set of possibilities governed by certain historically determined rules . . . from accommodation to opposition to more conflicted positions in-between.” Throughout her essays and fiction, the Jamaican writer, sociologist, and activist Erna Brodber recuperates discarded, illegible, or negative elements in the literary field of Caribbean literature. This essay argues that Brodber uses a mode of self-negation in her short novel Nothing’s Mat (2011) to open discursive space for individual and collective identities illegible within dominant theories of Caribbean literature such as pluralism or creolization: supernatural elements more readily identifiable in Latin American magical realism, a Pan-African vision decades after Negritude, and a commitment to the experiences of Afro-Caribbean womanhood.

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