Creolizing the Metropole

Creolizing the Metropole

Migrant Caribbean Identities in Literature and Film
H. Adlai Murdoch
Distribution: World
Publication date: 5/18/2012
ISBN: 978-0-253-00132-0
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Creolizing the Metropole is a comparative study of postwar West Indian migration to the former colonial capitals of Paris and London. It studies the effects of this population shift on national and cultural identity and traces the postcolonial Caribbean experience through analyses of the concepts of identity and diaspora. Through close readings of selected literary works and film, H. Adlai Murdoch explores the ways in which these immigrants and their descendants represented their metropolitan identities. Though British immigrants were colonial subjects and, later, residents of British Commonwealth nations, and the French arrivals from the overseas departments were citizens of France by law, both groups became subject to otherness and exclusion stemming from their ethnicities. Murdoch examines this phenomenon and the questions it raises about borders and boundaries, nationality and belonging.

Author Bio

H. Adlai Murdoch is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Literature and African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is author of Creole Identity in the French Caribbean Novel and the editor (with Anne Donadey) of Postcolonial Theory and Francophone Literary Studies.


"An outstanding contribution to scholarship. Theoretically grounded and meticulously researched, it examines the complexities inherent in constructing new diaspora identities that are at once ethnic, national, and fluid." —Renée Larrier, Rutgers University

In these expansive, fresh, adroit interpretations of Maryse Condé, Gisèle Pineau, Zadie Smith-White, and Andrea Levy, the author exposes the stark reality that race, and the prejudices attached to it, is a barrier to unequivocal assimilation. This study affirms that a diasporic duality persists as creolization slowly alters the metropole. Overall, an interesting read.

" —Choice

"[T]he depth of analysis and rich detail provided through literary illustrations make this book a worthwhile read. It is highly recommended for advanced students and scholars studying Caribbean migrations and associated concerns of identity, citizenship and nationhood." —Social & Cultural Geography

"[This] book provides an extremely valuable contribution to the fields of postcolonial studies and European literary and film studies in at least three ways: it theoretically refines the concept

of creolization, it contributes to much-needed redefinitions of France and the United Kingdom as multicultural, and it foregrounds the aesthetic qualities of the works under study.
" —Research in African Literatures

"Creolizing the Metropole is a significant contribution to scholarship." —New West Indian Guide

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Table of Contents


Introduction: The Caribbean Diaspora and the Metropoles
1. Caribbean Diasporic Identity: Between Home and Away
2. Beyond a Boundary: Constructing Anglo-Caribbean and Franco-Antillean Identity
3. Migration Pluralizes the Metropole: How a
Small Island Revealed its White Teeth
4. Creolizing the Hexagon: Periphery and Place in Desirada and Exile According to Julia
5. Playing at Integration: Confrontation and Conflict in the Metropolitan Suburbs
Conclusion: (Re)Colonizing the Metropole
Works Cited
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