The West Indian Novel and its Background
First published in 1970, this pioneering account of the emergence of the West Indian Novel in English has been a the centre of the development of West Indian Literature as an academic discipline. In an intimate and firm introduction, Professor Ramchand writes about the putting together of The West Indian Novel and its Background and makes a challenging survey of the West Indian writing and criticism since 1970.
Wearing his scholarship lightly, the author provides valuable insights into the social cultural and political background, offering concise and focused accounts of the growth of education, the development of literacy, the formation of West Indian Creole languages, and the making of the region’s written literature. For this reason, it has served as a handbook for teachers and lecturers setting up courses in West Indian and Commonwealth literatures.
This edition contains updated year-by-year and author biographies, features of the original that contributed to its reliability as a guide. Two new chapters have been fitted into the text: Earl Lovelace’s The Dragon Can’t Dance and Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners.
- Preface to the Second Edition
- Author’s Preface and Acknowledgements
- Introduction to 2004 Edition
- Introduction to the 1970 Edition
- Part I: Life Without Fiction
- Popular Education in the West Indies in the Nineteenth Century
- The Whites and Cultural Absenteeism
- The Coloureds and Class Interest
- New Bearings
- The Drift Towards the Audience
- Part 2: Approaches
- The Language of the Master?
- The African
- The Commonwealth Approach
- The Achievement of Roger Mais
- The World of A House for Mr. Biswas
- The Dragon Can’t Dance
- Novels of Childhood
- Terrified Consciousness
- Part 3: Precursor
- The Road to Banana Bottom