• Cloth: $99.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-4756-9
  • Paperback: $25.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-4777-4
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Acknowledgments ix

    Introduction: The Spring of Her Look 1

    1. "Rose is my mama, stanfaste is my papa": Hybrid Landscapes and Sexualities in Surinamese Women's Oral Poetry 29

    2. Darkening the Lily: The Erotics of Self-Making in Eliot Bliss's Luminous Isle 68

    3. Blue Countries, Dark Beauty: Opaque Desires in the Poetry of Ida Faubert 102

    4. At the River of Washerwomen: Work, Water, and Sexual Fluidity in Mayotte Capécia's I Am a Martinican Woman 136

    5. Transforming Sugar, Transitioning Revolution: Male Womanhood and Lesbian Eroticism in Michelle Cliff's No Telephone to Heaven 169

    6. Breaking Hard against Things: Crossing between Sexual and Revolutionary Politics in Dionne Brand's No Language in Neutral 201

    Notes 233

    Bibliography 257

    Index 269
  • Thiefing Sugar widens the focus of narratives of female eroticism by unearthing infrequently discussed or overlooked texts, emphasizing their significant contribution to the discourse of gender and sexuality, and Caribbean sexual politics. In like manner, Tinsley focuses on a region often overlooked in Caribbean literature, the Dutch Caribbean.”

    Thiefing Sugar by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley is a beautifully written, refreshing and innovative book. Tinsley examines the sophisticated ways in which gender and sexuality have historically and culturally articulated unique and revealing expressions of love and sex between women in the Caribbean region of the Americas.”

    Thiefing Sugar certainly deserves praise for giving voice to so many women and issues that have long remained silenced in each of these respective fields. Moreover, Tinsley’s manner of conversing with women, her mirroring of their poetics, underscores how she is a woman who loves women, a woman committed to mapping ‘imaginative imagination’ that decolonizes theory and ‘hegemonic definitions of same-sex desire.’”

    Thiefing Sugar is full of deliciously rich metaphors. . . . In this highly engaging and insightful book, Tinsley discusses the foremost tropes and metaphors in Caribbean women’s writing about desire between women. The syrup of language to be enjoyed here is not only that which abounds in the texts she discusses, but also in the suggestiveness of Tinsley’s own writing, which is sometimes dense but always rich and allusive.”

    “Her book retains a queer theoretical approach despite her critique of queer’s narrow global north conception, but it is nuanced…. She is keen to point out the effects of history on culture, language and categories…. Tinsley’s critical approach is as poetic as the title.”

    “Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley’s book is a brilliant, highly readable, and at times dense foundational study on twentieth-century Caribbean and diasporic women’s literary conceptualizations of living and loving in the Caribbean, specifically in Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Suriname, and Trinidad.”

    “This is an important book for anyone interested in the Caribbean, the African diaspora, women and gender, or LGBTQ culture and literature. . . . . What stands out more than anything else is the overwhelming evidence Tinsley offers of a long history of Caribbean women's stated desire for other women, of (mostly) working-class black female eroticism that is intrinsically tied to rebellion against oppression by the dominant white-identified, colonialist, masculine, land-owning, and hetero-normative ruling class. This is a subversive, lyrical piece of scholarship. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.”

    “Tinsely’s fascinating study is noteworthy for its originality in scope and its depth. The author deftly demonstrates that the secret of Caribbean lesbian writing -- visible and invisible, white and of color, Francophone and Anglophone --is determined by constantly unfolding spaces that are impossible to define by the canonical -colonial tropes of the past.”

    “Tinsley’s fascinating study of ‘women loving women’ examines their colonial and postcolonial experiences in Dutch, French, and English-speaking areas of the Caribbean. . . . Tinsley’s brilliant, sensitive explications, her frequent references to artworks from the area, and her descriptions of lush landscapes make reading her work a delight and a surprise. . . . I highly recommend it to a cosmopolitan audience.”

    “Tinsley’s survey of the region’s literature is always lucid; more than a critical study, though, this work, in abundant ways, knits together a literary past and the political present with lyrical acuity.”

    A remarkable book that delights in sounding out the depths of the texts that it foregrounds, Thiefing Sugaris an elegant analysis of (potentially ambiguous) eroticism between women in the Caribbean. . . . [H]er contribution to and intervention in postcolonial and queer studies are most welcome.”

    "Tinsley promises in the beginning of Thiefing Sugar to explore what it means for a woman to love another woman in the Caribbean, and she does just that."

    Reviews

  • Thiefing Sugar widens the focus of narratives of female eroticism by unearthing infrequently discussed or overlooked texts, emphasizing their significant contribution to the discourse of gender and sexuality, and Caribbean sexual politics. In like manner, Tinsley focuses on a region often overlooked in Caribbean literature, the Dutch Caribbean.”

    Thiefing Sugar by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley is a beautifully written, refreshing and innovative book. Tinsley examines the sophisticated ways in which gender and sexuality have historically and culturally articulated unique and revealing expressions of love and sex between women in the Caribbean region of the Americas.”

    Thiefing Sugar certainly deserves praise for giving voice to so many women and issues that have long remained silenced in each of these respective fields. Moreover, Tinsley’s manner of conversing with women, her mirroring of their poetics, underscores how she is a woman who loves women, a woman committed to mapping ‘imaginative imagination’ that decolonizes theory and ‘hegemonic definitions of same-sex desire.’”

    Thiefing Sugar is full of deliciously rich metaphors. . . . In this highly engaging and insightful book, Tinsley discusses the foremost tropes and metaphors in Caribbean women’s writing about desire between women. The syrup of language to be enjoyed here is not only that which abounds in the texts she discusses, but also in the suggestiveness of Tinsley’s own writing, which is sometimes dense but always rich and allusive.”

    “Her book retains a queer theoretical approach despite her critique of queer’s narrow global north conception, but it is nuanced…. She is keen to point out the effects of history on culture, language and categories…. Tinsley’s critical approach is as poetic as the title.”

    “Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley’s book is a brilliant, highly readable, and at times dense foundational study on twentieth-century Caribbean and diasporic women’s literary conceptualizations of living and loving in the Caribbean, specifically in Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Suriname, and Trinidad.”

    “This is an important book for anyone interested in the Caribbean, the African diaspora, women and gender, or LGBTQ culture and literature. . . . . What stands out more than anything else is the overwhelming evidence Tinsley offers of a long history of Caribbean women's stated desire for other women, of (mostly) working-class black female eroticism that is intrinsically tied to rebellion against oppression by the dominant white-identified, colonialist, masculine, land-owning, and hetero-normative ruling class. This is a subversive, lyrical piece of scholarship. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.”

    “Tinsely’s fascinating study is noteworthy for its originality in scope and its depth. The author deftly demonstrates that the secret of Caribbean lesbian writing -- visible and invisible, white and of color, Francophone and Anglophone --is determined by constantly unfolding spaces that are impossible to define by the canonical -colonial tropes of the past.”

    “Tinsley’s fascinating study of ‘women loving women’ examines their colonial and postcolonial experiences in Dutch, French, and English-speaking areas of the Caribbean. . . . Tinsley’s brilliant, sensitive explications, her frequent references to artworks from the area, and her descriptions of lush landscapes make reading her work a delight and a surprise. . . . I highly recommend it to a cosmopolitan audience.”

    “Tinsley’s survey of the region’s literature is always lucid; more than a critical study, though, this work, in abundant ways, knits together a literary past and the political present with lyrical acuity.”

    A remarkable book that delights in sounding out the depths of the texts that it foregrounds, Thiefing Sugaris an elegant analysis of (potentially ambiguous) eroticism between women in the Caribbean. . . . [H]er contribution to and intervention in postcolonial and queer studies are most welcome.”

    "Tinsley promises in the beginning of Thiefing Sugar to explore what it means for a woman to love another woman in the Caribbean, and she does just that."

  • “Luscious, abundant and rich—those are apt words for Thiefing Sugar, this captivating and lyrical exploration of what it meant in the twentieth century to be a Caribbean woman who loves women. Based on a well-chosen corpus of texts and lucid, in-depth analyses, the book is altogether a feast for the senses, a gift to us all!” — Gloria Wekker, Utrecht University, Netherlands

    “Through writing that is as lyrical as the poetry and fiction she analyzes, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley makes connections between sugar production in the Caribbean, the paradoxical ‘ungendering’ of black female slaves that makes their sexual self-hood possible, and the landscape of the ‘Global South’ to argue that the history of the black woman’s body in the African Diaspora is shrouded not just in metaphor but in the materiality of their own world-making.” — E. Patrick Johnson, author of, Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    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 natural world is repeatedly reclaimed and reinterpreted to express love between women in the poetry and prose that Tinsley analyzes. She not only recuperates stories of Caribbean women loving women, stories that have been ignored or passed over by postcolonial and queer scholarship until now, she also shows how those erotic relations and their literary evocations form a poetics and politics of decolonization. Tinsley’s interpretations of twentieth-century literature by Dutch-, English-, and French-speaking women from the Caribbean take into account colonialism, migration, labor history, violence, and revolutionary politics. Throughout Thiefing Sugar, Tinsley connects her readings to contemporary matters such as neoimperialism and international LGBT and human-rights discourses. She explains too how the texts that she examines intervene in black feminist, queer, and postcolonial studies, particularly when she highlights the cultural limitations of the metaphors that dominate queer theory in North America and Europe, including those of the closet and “coming out.”

    About The Author(s)

    Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Minnesota.

Explore More
Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.


Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu