Monday, 31 August 2015

My new publication: Reading/Speaking/Writing the Mother Text

I am proud to have a chapter on the black British author Andrea Levy and her literary portrayal of motherhood and maternal figures in this newly published edited volume entitled  Reading/Speaking/Writing the Mother Text: Essays on Caribbean Women’s Writing, edited by Paula Sanmartin and Cristina Herrera.  The book has just been published by Demeter Press, a Canadian feminist publisher specialising in interdisciplinary work on motherhood studies.  

The volume contains insightful and compelling readings of Caribbean women's writing. As Jocelyn Fenton Stitt, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, University of Michigan, says in her review and recommendation of Reading/Speaking/Writing the Mother Text: Essays on Caribbean Women's Writing:  "This book begins an overdue conversation about how representations of motherhood and family in literary works by Caribbean women connect issues of history, race, memory, nation, and violence."  Here is a picture of the fantastic cover of Reading/Speaking/Writing the Mother Text: Essays on Caribbean Women's Writing:

My chapter is called '“My Mama Had a Story”:  Mothers and Intergenerational Relations in Andrea Levy’s Fiction.'  In it, I examine the multi-faceted portrayal of motherhood and maternal characters in selected novels by Andrea Levy, and investigate Levy's representation of maternal dimensions alongside evolving Caribbean, diasporic and black British identities.  

I have long been an admirer of Andrea Levy's fiction, and look forward with much anticipation to the publication of her next novel.  To me, she is one of the most interesting and poignant literary voices around.  Her fiction has done so much to draw attention to the role and significance of Caribbean and black British men and women throughout history.  My chapter examines the complex manner in which Levy uses the theme of motherhood to trace hitherto neglected Caribbean and black British women's histories and perspectives.  My chapter in this book forms a part of my long-standing scholarly interest in postcolonialism and maternal perspectives and adds to my range of publications in this field.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

My article on true crime and baby farming in the journal "The Human"

I have just had an an article published in the journal The Human's Crime Writing Special Issue edited by Professor Rebecca Martin of Pace University, USA.  The Special Issue on Crime Writing features articles by established crime fiction critics, Merja Makinen and Sam Naidu, among others, as well as poetry.  The crime fiction articles in the Special Issue are all really interesting, and examine a range of topics, from Sherlock Holmes and Fandom (Naidu), and Japanese crime fiction by women writers (Seaman), to varieties of true crime writing and the ethical and historical questions this genre raises (Lyons; Beyer).  The Special Issue also features an excellent introduction by Rebecca Martin. 

My article is entitled "True Crime and Baby Farming: Representing Amelia Dyer".   The true crime text I specifically examined in this article is Alison Rattle and Allison Vale's The Woman who Murdered Babies for Money: The Story of Amelia Dyer (2011) [2007].  Reading Rattle and Vale's book, I became very interested in the phenomenon of baby farming and its context, and also the ways in which Amelia Dyer herself had been portrayed over the years in true crime books. 

The publication emerged from a conference paper I gave in June 2014 at the conference "True Crime: Fact, Fiction, Ideology", organised by Hic Dragones, and held in Manchester.  I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to publish this piece, which represents some of the interdisciplinary modes and questions I have been investigating in my recent research.   Rebecca Martin's Crime Writing Special Issue contains many essays and creative contributions of great interest to any scholar and student of crime fiction, and I warmly recommend it.