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Pathologies of Paradise

Caribbean Detours
Supriya M. Nair

BUY Cloth · 248 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813935171 · $65.00 · Sep 2013
BUY Paper · 248 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813935188 · $27.50 · Sep 2013
BUY Ebook · 248 pp. · ISBN 9780813935195 · $27.50 · Sep 2013

Nicolas Guillen Award for Outstanding Book in Philosophical Literature, Caribbean Philosophical Association (2013)

Pathologies of Paradise presents the rich complexity of anglophone Caribbean literature from pluralistic perspectives that contest the reduction of the region to Edenic or infernal stereotypes. But rather than reiterate the familiar critiques of these stereotypes, Supriya Nair draws on the trope of the detour to plumb the depths of anti-paradise discourse, showing how the Caribbean has survived its history of colonization and slavery. In her reading of authors such as Jamaica Kincaid, Michelle Cliff, V. S. Naipaul, Zadie Smith, Junot Díaz, and Pauline Melville, among others, she examines dominant symbols and events that shape the literature and history of postslavery and postcolonial societies: the garden and empire, individual and national trauma, murder and massacre, contagion and healing, grotesque humor and the carnivalesque. In ranging across multiple contexts, generations, and genres, the book maps a syncretic and flexible approach to Caribbean literature that demonstrates the supple literary cartographies of New World identities.


Supriya Nair’s adroit commentaries on key concepts of Caribbean literature will be compelling to readers within and beyond Caribbean studies. Her very readable book offers fresh and often startling readings of a diverse range of texts.

Vera M. Kutzinski,author of Sugar’s Secrets: Race and the Erotics of Cuban Nationalism and The Worlds of Langston Hughes: Modernism and Translation in the Americas, The Martha Rivers Ingram Professor of English, Vanderbilt University

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