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Book Review: Diasporic (Dis)locations

Diasporic (Dis)locations is a rich and informative text on Indo-Caribbean women's writing.

The book is broken down into six chapters that analyze different aspects of Indo-Caribbean women's culture including the Indo-Afro Caribbean dynamic, Culinary agency, Indo-Caribbean Feminism and Aji Culture and Sexuality. These topics are explored through a number of books and short stories by Indo-Caribbean women. We see some household names such as Ramabai Espinet, Shani Mootoo and Lakshmi Persaud.

Brinda studies these works carefully, illustrating how the themes are depicted in each work. She explains in the introduction how Indo-Caribbean women have traditionally been excluded from the Caribbean literary world due to cultural and social restrictions. She brings to the light the patriarchal influences that linger in our culture particularly due to the indentureship period and religious expectations. In literature, Indo-Caribbean women have typically portrayed in stereotypical roles written by others.

Diasporic (Dis)locations is a gem for anyone who is interested in the gender and Caribbean studies. I found the text to be very well researched and thoroughly thought out. I'm always looking for resources I can use to research for articles or just for my own knowledge and this was a great piece to expand my thinking. Brinda's book certainly falls under the category with Coolie Woman and a few others.

I found the sections on sexuality and Aji culture particularly interesting. Sexuality is often a "hush hush" topic in Indo-Caribbean culture and some of the issues around sexuality are overlooked in families to protect the male members. Aji culture highlights the influence of older women in Indo-Caribbean communities and their role in passing on knowledge and other insights to the girls and young women.

In the book Brinda mentions that Diasporic (Dis)locations is meant to be a preliminary framework and open the conversations to the amount of research that still needs to be done in our community. I loved the openness of this conclusion and it leaves the reader with a call to action. I'm also thrilled to have a few new books on my TBR list!

Overall, an essential text for any Indo-Caribbean literature collection.

My rating: ★★★★★


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