Assault on Paradise
Tatiana Lobo Northwestern University Press, 1998 Library of Congress PQ7489.2.L58A7313 1998 | Dewey Decimal 863
Assault on Paradise vividly depicts the Conquistadores and the Church invading Central America, impoverishing one world to enrich another. In a fast-paced, bawdy, swashbuckling adventure in Central America of the early 1700s, Costa Rican novelist Tatiana Lobo lays bare the dark legacy of the Conquistadores and the Church. Through the central picaresque story of Pedro Albaran, Lobo dramatizes the intrigues of politicians and the Inquisition and the bloody battles between the native people and the invaders, while simultaneously presenting a reverent poetic recreation of indigenous cosmogony and mystical values which the natives seek to use to drive out the invaders.
Paul Scott is most famous for his much-beloved tetralogy The Raj Quartet, an epic that chronicles the end of the British rule in India with a cast of vividly and memorably drawn characters. Inspired by Scott’s own time spent in India during World War II, this powerful novel provides valuable insight into how foreign lands changed the British who worked and fought in them, hated and loved them.
A coming of age tale, The Birds of Paradise is the story of a boy and his childhood friendship with the daughter of a British diplomat and the son of the Raja. Scott artfully brings his young narrator’s voice to life with evocative language and an eye for detail, capturing the pangs of childhood and the bittersweet fog of memory with nostalgic yet immediate prose
Dialogues in Paradise
Can Xue Northwestern University Press, 1989 Library of Congress PL2912.A5174D5313 1989 | Dewey Decimal 895.1352
The thirteen stories of Dialogues in Paradise are eloquent in a way the West associates with both the modern and the ancient: the dark oracles of Aeschylus and Sophocles, the paranoid mystery of Kafka, the moving stream of Woolf. The work of Can Xue (a pseudonym of Changsa writer Deng Xiao-hua) renews our consciousness of the long tradition of the irrational in our literature, where dreams and reality constitute one territory, its borders open, the passage back and forth barely discernible. She fuses lyrical purity with the darkest visions of the grotesque and the result is a unique literary experience.
In 1764 the first printing press was established in the French Caribbean colonies, launching the official documentation of operas and plays performed there, and marking the inauguration of the first theatre in the colonies. A rigorous study of pre–French Revolution performance practices in Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Powers’s book examines the elaborate system of social casting in these colonies; the environments in which nonwhite artists emerged; and both negative and positive contributions of the Catholic Church and the military to operas and concerts produced in the colonies. The author also explores the level of participation of nonwhites in these productions, as well as theatre architecture, décor, repertoire, seating arrangements, and types of audiences. The status of nonwhite artists in colonial society; the range of operas in which they performed; their accomplishments, praise, criticism; and the use of créole texts and white actors/singers à visage noirs (with blackened faces) present a clear picture of French operatic culture in these colonies. Approaching the French Revolution, the study concludes with an examination of the ways in which colonial opera was affected by slave uprisings, the French Revolution, the emergence of “patriotic theatres,” and their role in fostering support for the king, as well as the impact on subsequent operas produced in the colonies and in the United States.
With erudition and wit, Jean Delumeau explores the medieval conviction that paradise existed in a precise although unreachable earthly location. Delving into the writings of dozens of medieval and Renaissance thinkers, from Augustine to Dante, Delumeau presents a luminous study of the meaning of Original Sin and the human yearning for paradise.
The finest minds of the Middle Ages wrote about where paradise was to be found, what it was like, and who dwelt in it. Explorers sailed into the unknown in search of paradisal gardens of wealth and delight that were thought to be near the original Garden. Cartographers drew Eden into their maps, often indicating the wilderness into which Adam and Eve were cast, along with the magical kingdom of Prester John, Jerusalem, Babel, the Happy Isles, Ophir, and other places described in biblical narrative or borrowed from other cultures. Later, Renaissance thinkers and writers meticulously reconstructed the details of the original Eden, even providing schedules of the Creation and physical descriptions of Adam and Eve.
Even when the Enlightenment, with its discovery of fossils and pre-Darwinian theories of evolution, gradually banished the dream of paradise on earth, a nostalgia for Eden shaped elements of culture from literature to gardening. In our own time, Eden's hold on the Western imagination continues to fuel questions such as whether land should be conserved or exploited and whether a return to innocence is possible.
In Lost Cities Go to Paradise, poetry breaks into song and poetic prose becomes lively storytelling as Alicia Borinsky raises intimate questions about the fragility of contemporary life. Composed of many layered scenes, unforgettable characters, snapshots, and vignettes, this collection of quick-witted poems and short fiction mixes deceit and conceit with moments of tenderness and the elusive nature of humanity, asking if identity is more than a festival of masks and self-invention.
At the center of Borinsky’s work are the cities, which are a masquerade of disaster and spectacle that moves through space and time. Within these cities reside a man with two bills who gives three out of generosity, a woman who hides her face so that she may be better seen, cheating lovers who betray only to end up entwined in a tango, and immigrants who borrow each other’s accents. Filled with energy and irreverence, Lost Cities Go to Paradise captures the indignities and excitement of living among others in a society and discovering what is valued—and all that is not.
Throughout history, humans have searched for paradise. When early Christians adopted the Hebrew Bible, and with it the story of Genesis, the Garden of Eden became an idyllic habitat for all mankind. Medieval Christians believed this paradise was a place on earth, different from this world and yet part of it, situated in real geography and indicated on maps. From the Renaissance through the Enlightenment, the mapping of paradise validated the authority of holy scripture and supported Christian faith. But from the early nineteenth century onwards, the question of the exact location of paradise was left not to theologians but to the layman. And at the beginning of the twenty-first century, there is still no end to the stream of theories on the location of the former Garden of Eden.
Mapping Paradise is a history of the cartography of paradise that journeys from the beginning of Christianity to the present day. Instead of dismissing the medieval belief in a paradise on earth as a picturesque legend and the cartography of paradise as an example of the period’s many superstitions, Alessandro Scafi explores the intellectual conditions that made the medieval mapping of paradise possible. The challenge for mapmakers, Scafi argues, was to make visible a place that was geographically inaccessible and yet real, remote in time and yet still the scene of an essential episode of the history of salvation. Mapping Paradise also accounts for the transformations, in both theological doctrine and cartographical practice, that brought about the decline of the belief in a terrestrial paradise and the emergence of the new historical and regional mapping of the Garden of Eden that began at the time of the Reformation and still continues today.
The first book to show how paradise has been expressed in cartographic form throughout two millennia, Mapping Paradise reveals how the most deeply reflective thoughts about the ultimate destiny of all human life have been molded and remolded, generation by generation.
Maps of Paradise
Alessandro Scafi University of Chicago Press, 2013 Library of Congress BL540.S24 2013 | Dewey Decimal 202.3
Where is paradise? It always seems to be elsewhere, inaccessible, outside of time. Either it existed yesterday or it will return tomorrow; it may be just around the corner, on a remote island, beyond the sea. Across a wide range of cultures, paradise is located in the distant past, in a longed-for future, in remote places or within each of us. In particular, people everywhere in the world share some kind of nostalgia for an innocence experienced at the beginning of history. For two millennia, learned Christians have wondered where on earth the primal paradise could have been located. Where was the idyllic Garden of Eden that is described in the Bible? In the Far East? In equatorial Africa? In Mesopotamia? Under the sea? Where were Adam and Eve created in their unspoiled perfection?
Maps of Paradise charts the diverse ways in which scholars and mapmakers from the eighth to the twenty-first century rose to the challenge of identifying the location of paradise on a map, despite the certain knowledge that it was beyond human reach. Over one hundred illustrations celebrate this history of a paradox: the mapping of the unmappable. It is also a mirror to the universal dream of perfection and happiness, and the yearning to discover heaven on earth.
For Mark Twain, it was love at first landfall. Samuel Clemens first encountered the Bermuda Islands in 1867 on a return voyage from the Holy Land and found them much to his liking. One of the most isolated spots in the world, Bermuda offered the writer a refuge from his harried and sometimes sad existence on the mainland, and this island paradise called him back another seven times. Clemens found that Bermuda’s beauty, pace, weather, and company were just the medicine he needed, and its seafaring culture with few connections to the outside world appealed to his love of travel by water.
This book is the first comprehensive study of Clemens’s love affair with Bermuda, a vivid depiction of a celebrated author on recurring vacations. Donald Hoffmann has culled and clarified passages from Mark Twain’s travel pieces, letters, and unpublished autobiographical dictation—with cross-references to his fiction and infrequently cited short pieces—to create a little-known view of the author at leisure on his fantasy island.
Mark Twain in Paradise sheds light on both Clemens’s complex character and the topography and history of the islands. Hoffmann has plumbed the voluminous Mark Twain scholarship and Bermudian archives to faithfully re-create turn-of-the-century Bermuda, supplying historical and biographical background to give his narrative texture and depth. He offers insight into Bermuda’s natural environment, traditional stone houses, and romantic past, and he presents dozens of illustrations, both vintage and new, showing that much of what Mark Twain described can still be seen today.
Hoffmann also provides insight into the social circles Clemens moved in—and sometimes collected around himself. When visiting the islands, he rubbed shoulders with the likes of socialist Upton Sinclair and multimillionaire Henry H. Rogers; with Woodrow Wilson and his lover, socialite Mary Peck; as well as with the young girls to whom he enjoyed playing grandfather.
“You go to heaven if you want to,” Mark Twain wrote from Bermuda in 1910 during his long last visit. “I’d druther stay here.” And because much of what Clemens enjoyed in the islands is still available to experience today, visitors to Bermuda can now have America’s favorite author as their guide. Mark Twain in Paradise is an unexpected addition to the vast literature by and about Mark Twain and a work of travel literature unlike any other.
Homelessness touches every corner of our country, even the most prosperous ones. In No Vacancy: Homeless Women in Paradise, Michael E. Reid tells the story of more than five hundred women living without shelter in the affluent sea-side communities of Monterrey, Pebble Beach, and Carmel, California. Even in these glittering cities, one by one, homeless women were dying, their bodies appearing in plain sight. When Reid, an Episcopal priest, became aware of these tragedies, he had to act, and he co-founded the Fund for Homeless Women. This new venture took him deep into the complex realities homeless women face. He found that the well-meaning policies and programs in place in fact often had the unintentional effect of widening the gap between the indigent and mainstream society. No Vacancy captures the realities of homelessness in affluent northern California and exposes pitfalls encountered by those who wish to combat it. Reid presents an unvarnished look at the culture of long-term homelessness, and his experience provides helpful guidance for fighting this crisis. He also explores the root causes that can result in homelessness, including marginalization and the gender-based bias—and its disproportionate effect on women of color. This timely book provides needed guidance from the frontlines of the fight against homelessness, especially as activists and homeless people face weakened political and financial support from the government and their communities.
Panic in Paradise is a comprehensive study of bank loan failures during the Florida land boom of the mid-1920s, during the years preceding the stock market crash of 1929. Florida and Georgia experienced a banking panic in 1926 when, in a ten-day period in July, after uncontrollable depositor runs, 117 banks closed in the two states. Uninsured depositors lost millions, and several suicides followed the financial havoc. This volume makes use of banking records that were legally sealed for almost 70 years and provides a shocking story of professional corruption and conspiracy.
"An extraordinary and unusual book that makes an important contribution to our understanding of banking history and the general economic history oof the 1920s. The banking collapse in the Southeast is virtually unknown, even to specialists in banking and financial history. No one who is interested in the banking history of the United States will want to miss this book." -- Eugene N. White, Rutgers University
"An exhaustively researched pioneering study; brilliant investigative reporting." -- Jack Blicksilver, Georgia State University
Paradise & Method: Poetics and Praxis collects nearly two decades of work on poetics by one of the pioneers of the "language poetry" movement.
Addressing poetics from a poet's perspective, Andrews focuses on the ways in which meaning is produced and challenged. His essays aim "to map out opportunities for making sense (or making noise)--both in reading and writing contemporary literature. At the center has been a desire to explore language, as up close as possible, as a material and social medium for restagings of meaning and power." Andrews analyzes poetics and the production of meaning; alternative traditions and canons; and innovative contemporary poetry, particularly its break with many of the premises and constraints of even the most forward-looking modernisms.
Paradise, New York: A Novel
Eileen Pollack Temple University Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS3566.O4795P37 1998 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
We first meet Lucy Appelbaum, the heroine of Paradise, New York, in 1970, as a nine-year-old girl enjoying her family's Catskills hotel, the Garden of Eden. Ten years later, having found nothing else at which she can distinguish herself, Lucy tries to save the Eden by capitalizing on a wave of nostalgia for the Borscht Belt and running the hotel as a sort of living museum of Yiddish culture.
In the course of the season, Lucy battles her grandmother's attempts to sabotage Lucy's success, her parents' superstitious fears of anything that attracts attention to the Jews, and her brother's contention that what Lucy is doing is more a matter of ego than authentic religious feeling.
Paradise, New York explores the comforts and complexities of American ethnic identity with a charming commitment to laughter and love.
The War for an Idyllic Wilderness That Brought Andrew Jackson to National Prominence, Transformed the South, and Changed America Forever
In 1811, a portion of the Creek Indians who inhabited a vast area across Georgia, Alabama, and parts of Florida and Mississippi, interpreted an earth tremor as a sign that they had to return to their traditional way of life. What was an internal Indian dispute soon became engulfed in the greater War of 1812 to become perhaps the most consequential campaign of that conflict. At immediate stake in what became known as the Creek War of 1813–14 was whether the Creeks and their inconstant British and Spanish allies or the young United States would control millions of acres of highly fertile Native American land. The conflict’s larger issue was whether the Indian nations of the lower American South—the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw—would be able to remain in their ancestral homes.
Beginning with conquistador Ferdinand DeSoto’s fateful encounter with Indians of the southeast in the 1500s, A Paradise of Blood: The Creek War of 1813–14 by Howard T. Weir, III, narrates the complete story of the cultural clash and centuries-long struggle for this landscape of stunning beauty. Using contemporary letters, military reports, and other primary sources, the author places the Creek War in the context of Tecumseh’s fight for Native American independence and the ongoing war between the United States and European powers for control of North America. The Creek War was marked by savagery, such as the murder of hundreds of settlers at Fort Mims, Alabama—the largest massacre of its kind in United States history—and fierce battles, including Horseshoe Bend, where more Indian warriors were confirmed killed than in any other single engagement in the long wars against the Indians. Many notable personalities fought during the conflict, including Andrew Jackson, who gained national prominence for his service, Sam Houston, War Chief William Weatherford, and Davy Crockett. When the war was over, more than twenty million acres had been added to the United States, thousands of Indians were dead or homeless, and Jackson was on his way to the presidency. The war also eliminated the last effective Native American resistance to westward expansion east of the Mississippi, and by giving the United States land that was ideal for large-scale cotton planting, it laid the foundation for the Civil War a generation later. A Paradise of Blood is a comprehensive and masterful history of one of America’s most important and influential early wars.
Stephen Gibson University of Arkansas Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3557.I225P37 2011 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In Paradise, Stephen Gibson's fourth poetry collection, we are taken on a journey through history and myth, wars past and present, public discoveries and private loss. As the reader confronts past horrors and present truths as well as the speaker's personal ones (an abused mother, a shellshocked father), it becomes apparent that the paradise sought-not in the hereafter but in the here and now-lies just beyond reach. It all ends, suggest these verses, with the understanding that behind everything we find nothing more divine than the human.
A Portal to Paradise
Alden C. Hayes University of Arizona Press, 1999 Library of Congress F817.C5H39 1999 | Dewey Decimal 979.153
Arizona's rugged Chiricahua Mountains have a special place in frontier history. They were the haven of many well-known personalities, from Cochise to Johnny Ringo, as well as the home of prospectors, cattlemen, and hardscrabble farmers eking out a tough living in an unforgiving landscape. In this delightful and well-researched book, Alden Hayes shares his love for the area, gained over fifty years. From his vantage point near the tiny twin communities of Portal and Paradise on the eastern slopes of the Chiricahuas, Hayes brings the famous and the not-so-famous together in a profile of this striking landscape, showing how place can be a powerful formative influence on people's lives. When Hayes first arrived in 1941 to manage his new father-in-law's apple orchard, he met folks who had been born in Arizona before it became a state. Even if most had never personally worried about Indian attacks, they had known people who had. Over the years, Hayes heard the handed-down stories about the area's early days of Anglo settlement. He also researched census records, newspaper archives, and the files of the Arizona Historical Society to uncover the area's natural history, prehistory, Spanish and Mexican regimes, and particularly its Anglo history from the mid nineteenth century to the beginning of World War II. His book is a rich account of the region and more, a celebration of rural life, brimming with tales of people whose stories were shaped by the landscape. Today the Chiricahuas are a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts and the site of the American Museum of Natural History's Southwestern Research Station—and still a rugged area that remains off the beaten track. Hayes brings his straightforward and articulate style to this captivating account of earlier days in southeastern Arizona and opens up a portal to paradise for readers everywhere.
Throughout the nineteenth century the idyllic island of Fernando de Noronha, which lies two hundred miles off Brazil's northeastern coast, was home to Brazil's largest forced labor penal colony. In Punishment in Paradise Peter M. Beattie uses Noronha as a case study to understand nineteenth-century Brazil's varied social and cultural values, especially in relation to justice, class, color, civil condition, human rights and labor. As Brazil’s slave population declined after 1850, the use of colonial-era disciplinary practices at Noronha—such as flogging and forced labor—stoked anxieties about human rights and Brazil’s international image. Beattie contends that the treatment of slaves, convicts, and other social categories subject to coercive labor extraction were interconnected and that reforms that benefitted one of these categories made them harder to deny to others. In detailing Noronha's history and the end of slavery as part of an international expansion of human rights, Beattie places Brazil firmly in the purview of Atlantic history.
Long ago dubbed the "Paradise of America," Northampton, Massachusetts, is also known as the home of visionaries -- from the Reverend Jonathan Edwards, father of the First Great Awakening, to George W. Benson, brother-in-law of William Lloyd Garrison and a founder of the utopian Northampton Association for Education and Industry. During the mid-nineteenth century the town became a center of political abolitionism and a hub in the Underground Railroad. In this book, Bruce Laurie profiles five rebellious figures who launched Northampton's abolitionist movement -- Sylvester Judd Jr., John Payson Williston, David Ruggles, Henry Sherwood Gere, and Erastus Hopkins. Through their individual stories he traces the evolution of the antislavery movement in western Massachusetts and links it to broader developments in economics, civil life, and political affairs. Northampton's abolitionists were a heterodox group, yet most were intrepid devotees of democracy and racial equality, idealists who enjoyed genuine friendships and political alliances with African Americans. Several even took the bold step of hiring African Americans in their businesses. They avoided the doctrinal rivalries that sometimes troubled the antislavery movement in other places, skillfully steering clear of the xenophobic nativism that infected Massachusetts politics in the mid--1850s and divided the Republican Party at large. Although a prohibitionist faction disrupted the Northampton abolitionist movement for a time, the leaders prevailed on the strength of their personal prestige and political experience, making the seat of Hampshire County what one of them called an abolitionist "stronghold."
Storm from Paradise was first published in 1992. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
"Usefully complicating common sense understandings of history, catastrophe, loss, otherness, and possibility through reflections on contemporary Jewishness, Boyarin draws on Benjamins's famous image of the Angel of History blown into the future by a "storm from paradise" to constantly interrogate and recuperate the past, "without pretending for long that we can recoup its plentitude". The book's seven thoughtful essays are at times deliberately intangible but always worth reading. An important book for the rethinking of the relevance of Jewishness to anthropology and cultural studies." –Religious Studies Review
"An essay in the richest sense of that term, inspired by and modeled on Walter Benjamin's essays. Based on varied, diverse, and abundantly cross-disciplinary readings, it moves and builds, questions and interrogates, and ultimately convinces us that the Jewish experience with being the 'other' and, conversely and recently, with 'othering' is indeed relevant to theorists of contemporary culture." –Marianne Hirsch
Jonathan Boyarin is the author of Palestine and Jewish History, and co-editor, with Daniel Boyarin, of Jews and Other Differences and Powers of Diaspora.
Invasive nonindigenous species -- plants and animals that have been introduced to an ecosystem from someplace else -- are wreaking havoc around the globe. Because they did not co-evolve with species already in the ecosystem, they can profoundly disturb species interactions and ecosystem function.The state of Florida has one of the most severe exotic species problems in the country; as much as a quarter of many taxa in Florida are nonnative, and millions of acres of land and water are dominated by nonindigenous species. Strangers in Paradise provides an in-depth examination of the Florida experience and of the ongoing efforts to eradicate or manage introduced species. Chapters consider: natural disturbance and the spread of nonindigenous species case studies of insects, freshwater invertebrates, fishes, amphibians and reptiles, birds, marine invertebrates and algae, and mammals methods of managing nonindigenous species including ecological restoration, eradication, "maintenance control," and biological control management on public lands the regulatory framework including the role of the federal government as well as state authorities and responsibilities Strangers in Paradise is the first comprehensive volume to address a large, diverse region and the full range of nonindigenous species, the problems they cause, and the methods and impediments to dealing with them. Throughout, contributors emphasize solutions and relate the situation in Florida to problems faced by other states, making the book an important guide for anyone involved with control and management of invasive species.
A Thousand Pieces of Paradise is an ecological history of property and a cultural history of rural ecosystems set in one of Wisconsin's most famous regions, the Kickapoo Valley. While examining the national war on soil erosion in the 1930s, a controversial real estate development scheme, Amish land settlement, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dam project, and Native American efforts to assert longstanding land claims, Lynne Heasley traces the historical development of modern American property debates within ever-more diverse rural landscapes and cultures. Heasley argues that the way public discourse has framed environmental debates hides the full shape our system of property has taken in rural communities and landscapes. She shows how democratic and fluid visions of property-based on community relationships-have coexisted alongside individualistic visions of property rights. In this environmental biography of a landscape and its people lie powerful lessons for rural communities seeking to understand and reconcile competing values about land and their place in it.
In the course of the nineteenth century, Jamaica transformed itself from a pestilence-ridden “white man’s graveyard” to a sun-drenched tourist paradise. Deftly combining economics with political and cultural history, Frank Fonda Taylor examines this puzzling about-face and explores the growth of the tourist industry into the 1990s. He argues that the transformations in image and reality were not accidental or due simply to nature’s bounty. They were the result of a conscious decision to develop this aspect of Jamaica’s economy.
Jamaican tourism emerged formally at an international exhibition held on the island in 1891. The international tourist industry, based on the need to take a break from stressful labor and recuperate in healthful and luxurious surroundings, was a newly awakened economic giant. A group of Jamaican entrepreneurs saw its potential and began to cultivate a tourism psychology which has led, more than one hundred years later, to an economy dependent upon the tourist industry.
The steamships that carried North American tourists to Jamaican resorts also carried U.S. prejudices against people of color. “To Hell withParadise” illustrates the problems of founding a tourist industry for a European or U.S. clientele in a society where the mass of the population is poor, black, and with a historical experience of slavery and colonialism. By the 1990s, tourism had become the lifeblood of the Jamaican economy, but at an enormous cost: enclaves of privilege and ostentation that exclude the bulk of the local population, drug trafficking and prostitution, soaring prices, and environmental degradation. No wonder some Jamaicans regard tourism as a new kind of sugar.
Taylor explores timely issues that have not been previously addressed. Along the way, he offers a series of valuable micro histories of the Jamaican planter class, the origins of agricultural dependency (on bananas), the growth of shipping and communications links, the process of race relations, and the linking of infrastructural development to tourism. The text is illustrated with period photographs of steamships and Jamaican tourist hotels.
Depictions of sex, violence, and crime abound in many of today's movies, sometimes making it seem that the idyllic life has vanished-even from our imaginations. But as shown in this unique book, paradise has not always been lost. For many years, depictions of heaven, earthly paradises, and utopias were common in popular films.
Illustrated throughout with intriguing, rare stills and organized to provide historical context, Visions of Paradise surveys a huge array of films that have offered us glimpses of life free from strife, devoid of pain and privation, and full of harmony. In films such as Moana, White Shadows in the South Seas, The Green Pastures, Heaven Can Wait, The Enchanted Forest, The Bishop's Wife, Carousel, Bikini Beach, and Elvira Madigan, characters and the audience partake in a vision of personal freedom and safety-a zone of privilege and protection that transcends the demands of daily existence.
Many of the films discussed are from the 1960s-perhaps the most edenic decade in contemporary cinema, when everything seemed possible and radical change was taken for granted. As Dixon makes clear, however, these films have not disappeared with the dreams of a generation; they continue to resonate today, offering a tonic to the darker visions that have replaced them.
Witches, Goddesses and Angry Spirits: The Politics of Spiritual Liberation in African Diaspora Women’s Fiction explores African diaspora religious practices as vehicles for Africana women’s spiritual transformation, using representative fictions by three contemporary writers of the African Americas who compose fresh models of female spirituality: Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994) by Haitian American novelist Edwidge Danticat; Paradise (1998) by African American Nobel laureate Toni Morrison; and I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem (1992) by Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé.
Author Maha Marouan argues that while these authors’ works burst with powerful female figures—witches, goddesses, healers, priestesses, angry spirits—they also remain honest in reminding readers of the silences surrounding African diaspora women’s realities and experiences of violence, often as a result of gendered religious discourses. To make sense of Africana women’s experiences of the diaspora, this book operates from a transnational perspective that moves across national and linguistic boundaries as it connects the Anglophone, the Francophone, and the Creole worlds of the African Americas. In doing so, Marouan identifies crucial shared thematic concerns regarding the authors’ engagement with religious frameworks—some Judeo-Christian, some not—heretofore unexamined in such a careful, comparative fashion.