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Thiefing Sugar: Eroticism between Women in Caribbean Literature
In Thiefing Sugar, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley explores the poetry and prose of Caribbean women writers, revealing in their imagery a rich tradition of erotic relations between women. She takes the book’s title from Dionne Brand’s novel In Another Place, Not Here, where eroticism between women is likened to the sweet and subversive act of cane cutters stealing sugar. The nat ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 18th 2010 by Duke University Press Books
(first published January 1st 2009)
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Natasha has pulled together a broad collection in most of the languages which is remarkable enough but with both a sense of history and a sense of humour. She admits harshness in her first chapter but her reading of Dionne Brand in the last is eloquent. "“No Language not only imagines a sexual politics as West Indian as the Caribbean Sea but also charts complex relationships between eroticism, colonialism, militarism, resistance, revolution, poverty, despair, fullness, and hope that explore the ...more
“What undercuts the power of women’s anger in the end is not the melancholy that Butler charts, but material realities — economics, not psychology. While Em fantasizes about the possibility of Afro- and Euro-Jamaican women building partnerships to work for each other, she seems to understand that she has no concrete possibilities for realizing this fantasy in 1920s Jamaica.”
“No Language not only imagines a sexual politics as West Indian as the Caribbean Sea but also charts complex relationships between eroticism, colonialism, militarism, resistance, revolution, poverty, despair, fullness, and hope that explore the pliability necessary to imagine Caribbean same-sex loving politics differently, postcolonially. Myriam Chancy, in the first study of Brand’s poetry, writes her artistic vision as a rescripting of traditional poetics into poelitics: “A fusion of politics and poetry that recalls Lorde, who once wrote of the transformative power of poetry as ‘a revelatory distillation of experience’ and as an act of fusion between ‘true knowledge’ and ‘lasting action.’ ”8 Brand vocalizes quite lucidly the threat that this infusion of politics into poetics poses to both revolutionary and neocolonial Caribbean thinkers: “To dream about a Black woman, even an old Black woman, is dangerous even in a Black dream, an old dream, a Black woman’s dream, even in a dream where you are the dreamer,” she writes of reactions to her black lesbian feminist revolutionary artistic work by Marxists and conservatives alike. “Even in a Black dream, where I, too, am a dreamer, a lesbian is suspect; a woman is suspect even to other women, especially if she dreams of women.”More quotes…