Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles

Thomas Glave, Editor . Duke Univ. $24.95 (405p) ISBN 978-0-8223-4226-7

This sometimes sexy, sometimes dry, but often lush collection of stories by Caribbean gay and lesbian writers is a mixed bag. Certain selections, such as Wesley E.A. Crichlow's “History, (Re)Memory, Testimony, and Biomythography” and Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes's heavily footnoted “Postdata: metatextual wings of a dove” will likely put off all but academics. More accessible are Michelle Cliff's “Ecce Homo,” a tale of star-crossed male lovers in Rome during WWII, which has the romantic distance of a sepia photograph, and José Alcántara Almánzar's portrayal of a transvestite in “Lulú or the Metamorphosis.” Many of the writings from the 1990s tackle oppression and are tragic in tone. Shani Mootoo's sassy patois story, “Out on Main Street,” about how she and her girlfriend negotiate their sexuality in a sweet shop, is refreshingly upbeat, and Audre Lorde's two stories, one about rebuilding in St. Croix after hurricane Hugo, the other a meditation on home and her mother's nostalgia for Grenada—neither of which addresses sexuality—widen the book's somewhat claustrophobic focus. (June)

Reviewed on: 03/24/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 405 pages - 978-0-8223-4208-3
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