Bread Out of Stone: Recollections, Sex, Recognitions, Race, Dreaming, Politics

Dionne Brand, Author Coach House Press $14.95 (183p) ISBN 978-0-88910-492-1
A new breed of black cultural critic is emerging in the English-speaking world. Informed by international, African-centered pop music and by the feminist, Afro-American, Caribbean and Afro-British political movements of the 1960s, thinkers such as Cornel West, bell hooks, Patricia Williams and Paul Gilroy go beyond traditional categories to emerge with a new style of thinking about cultural concerns. They often use feminism and legal and social theory to inform their critiques of contemporary inequities. These thinkers of the ``Black Atlantic'' (to use Gilroy's term) include Trinidad-born Canadian poet and lesbian-feminist Marxist Dionne Brand. In Bread Out of Stone, she reflects on immigrant life in a changing Canada (she lives in Toronto) from vantage points in Cuba and Grenada, at Wellesley College and in her neighborhood coffee shop. With her lesbian-feminist viewpoint, she's refreshingly frank about the ``normative'' presumptions of heterosexuality and how those presumptions help rob women of their humanity and individuality. Despite the disparate territories that serve as these essays' points of origin, it's not an altogether unfamiliar landscape. ``We're now battered by multicultural bureaucracy, co-opted by mainstream arty politics, morassed in everyday boring racism,'' she says. Essays reflect on music, Caribbean literature and politics, Canadian police shootings of blacks, protest politics and the anxiety of living in a society that devalues blacks and women. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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