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Book cover
Interplay of Cultural Narratives in Martinique
French, African, and Indian Journey toward a Pluralistic Society
Mahadevi Ramakrishnan and R.Scott Smith
Book review:
"An effective survey of Martiniques hybrid, and indeed multifaceted, cultural identity through the thematic prisms of resettlement and migration. Through close examination and discussion of key stages in Martiniques historical and political existence, the ethnocultural and linguistic transformations that took place in the wake of the colonial encounter are placed alongside the fundamental role played by slavery in the development of the islands creolized culture.The complex issues marking the post-emancipation period receive thoroughgoing treatment as well, particularly the contributions of the islands Indian, Congolese, Chinese, and Syro-Lebanese arrivants. It will be valuable reading for scholars in Caribbean Studies, French Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and related fields."
Professor H. Adlai Murdoch, Professor of Francophone Studies and Director of Africana Studies, Tufts University.

"Dr. Ramakrishnan's and Dr. Smith's book is a long-needed and much-welcome introductory volume on Martinique and on the French Caribbean more broadly. The authors draw from a wide range of literature in history, anthropology, sociology, language studies, literature, as well as extensive interviews with Martinican intellectuals and students, to craft a study of Martinique's history that foregrounds the question of cultural and linguistic mixture that makes Martinique such a unique place. Tracing the development of Martinican culture and identity from the Caribs to the present, Drs. Ramakrishnan and Smith show how this culture, despite its emergence from a painful history of violence, enslavement, displacement, and exclusion, drew on these histories to forge a powerful and supple hybrid culture and identity that links together the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Particularly insightful is the attention paid to questions of language and religion. Without shying away from Martinique's difficult history nor from the challenges facing contemporary Martinique, the authors emphasize what has worked in Martinique, centering the processes of creolization and cultural mixture that have produced a modern, pluralistic, and resilient culture that, in many ways, augurs the future of us all. Written in an accessible and lively style, this book is sure to welcome a generation of students, researchers, and the general public to Martinique's unique history, and its complex and creative present."
--Andrew M. Daily
Assistant Professor of Modern French and Global History, University of Memphis

May, 2015, Caribbean Studies Press, Cat # CSP3704, 282pp, with b & w illustrations, softcover
ISBN 978-1-62632-370-4
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