A Regarded Self

Caribbean Womanhood and the Ethics of Disorderly Being

Book Pages: 296 Illustrations: Published: January 2021

Caribbean Studies, Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Theory

In A Regarded Self Kaiama L. Glover champions unruly female protagonists who adamantly refuse the constraints of coercive communities. Reading novels by Marie Chauvet, Maryse Condé, René Depestre, Marlon James, and Jamaica Kincaid, Glover shows how these authors' women characters enact practices of freedom that privilege the self in ways unmediated and unrestricted by group affiliation. The women of these texts offend, disturb, and reorder the world around them. They challenge the primacy of the community over the individual and propose provocative forms of subjecthood. Highlighting the style and the stakes of these women's radical ethics of self-regard, Glover reframes Caribbean literary studies in ways that critique the moral principles, politicized perspectives, and established critical frameworks that so often govern contemporary reading practices. She asks readers and critics of postcolonial literature to question their own gendered expectations and to embrace less constrictive modes of theorization.


“Kaiama L. Glover's magnificently written A Regarded Self recovers voices long relegated to the margins. It is also a new and thrilling kind of criticism, uncompromising in its resistance to generalities about Afro-Atlantic and Caribbean Studies. Seamlessly joining literary reflection and oral history, it unveils a new understanding of the aesthetic and the political. For once returned to their significant histories in the Caribbean, these magisterial terms gain force and momentum. Glover's unparalleled analyses of Maryse Condé, René Depestre, and Jamaica Kincaid make readers rethink the nature of mastery and subjection, as well as the false divide between sacred and profane.” — Colin Dayan, author of Haiti, History, and the Gods

“In this rigorous and elegantly executed book, Kaiama L. Glover performs the disorderly womanness that she theorizes by offering feminist challenges to established Caribbean scholarly practices, tropes, and readings that reinforce masculinist valorizations of ‘community.’ Offering innovative, unconventional perspectives on well-known literary texts, A Regarded Self stands to be an important work.” — Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley, author of Ezili’s Mirrors: Imagining Black Queer Genders

"Readers should be able to work their ways out of the boxes that define texts and approach them closely from less controlled zones. As such, Glover’s A Regarded Self is a timely and much-needed book, in these times when readers may feel compelled to pay allegiance to the labels and theories in vogue before actually regarding the source book itself." — Andrée-Anne Kekeh-Dika, Public Books


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Price: $26.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Kaiama L. Glover is Ann Whitney Olin Professor of French and Africana Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is coeditor of The Haiti Reader: History, Culture, Politics, also published by Duke University Press, and author of Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction  1
1. Self-Love | Tituba  39
2. Self-Possession | Hadriana  68
3. Self-Defense | Lotus  111
4. Self-Preservation | Xuela  146
5. Self-Regard | Lilith  188
Epilogue  219
Notes  225
Works Cited  249
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1124-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-1017-3