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Title: Strange music and the Black woman in the mirror : reflections on a literary history
Author: Fish, Laura.
ISNI:       0000 0000 7882 5214
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2006
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The novel Strange Music forms the creative element and the main body of work for the thesis. It offers a fictional exploration of the Barretts from the Creole and black slave woman's perspective juxtaposed with the story of three women's experiences at a moment of crisis within the Barrett family itself. The book is set in England and the West Indies between 1837-40. The locations are Torquay in Devon and the great houses of Greenwood and Cinnamon Hill, homes of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's family in Jamaica. The narrators are Kaydia, a domestic maid; Sheba, a field slave; and Elizabeth Barrett. Confinement and self-determination are the main issues connecting all three women, and throughout the book issues of escape emerge. However, Elizabeth's narrati ve voice offers a very different kind of confinement to that of the other voices - this has led me to writing in Jamaican patois juxtaposed with the idiom of an English woman living in the Victorian era. Other patterns and issues that surface in my work include the bond between parent and child; women's vulnerability and their dependence on men; social and moral breakdown; and madness, a recurrent thematic concern of Caribbean women's writing. The critical dissertation 'The Black Woman in the Mirror: Reflections on a Literary History' provides a context to the creative work and traces the history of black women's writing in Britain. The mirror is key to the way in which I analyze race and gender oppression" and I draw frequently upon Virginia Woolf's essay A Room of One's Own and explore and examine certain conditions she considers that have affected women's ability to write. The main focus of my work is on how black women have functioned as a looking-glass in which white people and black men can discover their superiority.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available