Rowman and Littlefield International
Food, Text and Culture in the Anglophone Caribbean

Food, Text and Culture in the Anglophone Caribbean

By Sarah Lawson Welsh

Publication Date: Jul 2019

Pages 272


Hardback 9781783486601
£80.00 €112.00 $120.00
Paperback 9781783486618
£24.95 €34.95 $39.95
Ebook 9781783486625
£24.95 €34.95 $37.95
Not available for pre-order

How do diasporic writers negotiate their identities through and with food? What tensions emerge between the local and the global, between the foodways of the past and of the present? How are concepts of culinary ‘tradition’ and ‘authenticity’ articulated in Caribbean cookery writing?

Drawing on a rich and varied tradition of Caribbean writings, Food, Text & Culture in the Anglophone Caribbean shows how the creation of food and the creation of narrative are intimately linked cultural practices which can tell us much about each other. Historically, Caribbean writers have explored, defined and re-affirmed their different cultural, ethnic, caste, class and gender identities by writing about what, when and how they eat. Images of feeding, feasting, fasting and other food rituals and practices, as articulated in a range of Caribbean writings, constitute a powerful force of social cohesion and cultural continuity. Moreover, food is often central to the question of what it means to be Caribbean, especially in diasporic and globalized contexts.

Suitable for undergraduates, postgraduates and scholars, the book offers the first study of food and writing in an Anglophone Caribbean context.


List of Illustrations


Chapter One - Famine, Feeding and Feasting: Slave Foods, Provision Grounds and the Planters’ Tables

Chapter Two - White Writings: The Nineteenth Century

Chapter Three - Black Hunger and White Plenitude: Food and Social Order in Two Historiographic Metafictions

Chapter Four - Caribbean Food, Writing and Identity

Chapter Five - KitchenTalk: Caribbean Women Talk about Food

Chapter Six - Reading the Culinary Nation: Recipes Books and Barbados

Chapter Seven - ‘Put Some Music in Your Food’: Caribbean Food and Diaspora


Food, Text and Culture in the Anglophone Caribbean is one of the most exciting recent additions to Caribbean cultural studies. Focussing on such varied texts as Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings, memoirs, travel accounts and oral histories, Lawson demonstrates the centrality of food in the construction of Caribbean identity—both at home and in the diaspora—and provides novel insights into long-standing debates surrounding the authenticity and commodification of Caribbean culture.

Henrice Altink, Professor of Modern History and Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre, University of York

Sarah Lawson Welsh is Associate Professor and Reader in English and Postcolonial Literatures at York St John University, UK.

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