Narratives of Exile and Return
AUTHOR: Chamberlain, Mary
PUBLISHER: Transaction Publishers
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In this original and compelling book, Mary Chamberlain explores the nature and meaning of migration for Barbadians who migrated to Britain and elsewhere. It is a unique oral and social history, based on life-story interviews across three or more generations of Barbadian families. Locating migration within the contemporary debate on modernity, Narratives of Exile and Return highlights the continuing role of migration in shaping the culture and history of Barbados. But it does more by providing post-modern theorizing with concrete national and ethnic settings.
Chamberlain investigates the power of social and individual memory in recalling and recounting experience, and in molding and interpreting culture. It reveals the vitality of family dynamics and values in fashioning life courses and the ways in which these are transmitted and transformed across the generations. It analyzes how the "Mother Country" was encountered and incorporated, and how the continuing presence of the Caribbean contributes to the identities of those born or brought up in Britain.
In reclaiming these narratives of exile and return, this book challenges and exposes, in an exciting and innovative way, those orthodox views that explain Caribbean migration through the labor demands of international capital or the vagaries of the home economy. Accompanied in Part II by the edited transcripts of three generations of five Barbadian families, Narratives of Exile and Return makes a pioneering contribution to studies of migration and to the social history of the Caribbean. It reaches to the heart of the migrant experience and is a fitting tribute to the power of oral testimony as historical source.
PUBLICATION DATE: 11/17/2004
CATEGORY: Biography & Autobiography