John Hearne’s Plantation Fantasy

Houlden, Kate (2015) John Hearne’s Plantation Fantasy. In: Beyond Windrush: Rethinking Postwar Anglophone Caribbean Literature. Caribbean Studies Series . University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS, pp. 145-157. ISBN 978-1628464757

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In the 1960s, George Lamming and Sylvia Wynter dismissed the highly successful novelist John Hearne, arguing that his work was weakened by its nostalgic focus on the plantocracy. Their assessment shaped scholarly opinion until the present. This chapter departs from Lamming and Wynter by claiming that Hearne’s novels offer an importantly nuanced depiction of the middle class as well as an important vision of the Caribbean as part of a hemispheric American culture stretching from North to South America. While suggesting the critically misunderstood value of Hearne, however, the chapter ultimately argues that after his first novel, Hearne’s focus on an Afro-creole planter class – depicted with an apparently unconscious nostalgia – constitutes a failure to engage with the region’s political present and future.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: Beyond Windrush: Rethinking Postwar Anglophone Caribbean Literature edited by J. Dillon Brown and Leah Reade Rosenberg. Copyright © 2015 by University Press of Mississippi
Keywords: John Hearne, Plantation Fantasy, Caribbean, Nostalgia, Planter class, Middle class, Hemispheric
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Dr Kate Houlden
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2017 15:20
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:01

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