Awakening Spaces: French Caribbean Popular Songs, Music, and Culture
by Brenda F. Berrian
University of Chicago Press, 2000
Paper: 978-0-226-04456-9 | Cloth: 978-0-226-04455-2
Library of Congress Classification ML3486.A1B47 2000
Dewey Decimal Classification 781.640972976

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
The fast-paced zouk of Kassav', the romantic biguine of Malavoi, the jazz of Fal Frett, the ballads of Mona, and reggae of Kali and Pôglo are all part of the burgeoning popular music scene in the French Caribbean. In this lively book, Brenda F. Berrian chronicles the rise of this music, which has captivated the minds and bodies of the Francophone world and elsewhere.

Based on personal interviews and discussions of song texts, Berrian shows how these musicians express their feelings about current and past events, about themselves, their islands, and the French. Through their lyrical themes, these songs create metaphorical "spaces" that evoke narratives of desire, exile, subversion, and Creole identity and experiences. Berrian opens up these spaces to reveal how the artists not only engage their listeners and effect social change, but also empower and identify themselves. She also explores the music as it relates to the art of drumming, and to genres such as African American and Latin jazz and reggae. With Awakening Spaces, Berrian adds fresh insight into the historical struggles and arts of the French Caribbean.

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