Claude McKay

The Literary Identity from Jamaica to Harlem and Beyond


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About the Book

The gifted and rebellious writer Claude McKay grew up in the British West Indies and then moved to the United States. As he traveled from Jamaica to Harlem and then to Europe and Africa, he embraced various causes and political ideologies that made their way into his writings. Brought up as a colonial in the British West Indies, he found racial oppression as an immigrant in the United States. His struggle for self-definition and self-determination was manifest in his writings and laid the foundation for the Harlem Renaissance and negritude movements.
African American scholarship in the United States tends to focus on McKay’s American productions, such as his poetry and novels like Home to Harlem, while critics in the Caribbean focus on his works there: novels like Banana Bottom and dialect poetry. This study has undertaken to explore comprehensively the life and works of Claude McKay, framed within colonial and cross-cultural experiences. While dealing with pertinent issues like identity, race, exile, ethnicity, and sexuality, the work examines all the facets of this influential 20th century author, a man trying to solve the problem of his own identity in a world determined to marginalize him.

About the Author(s)

Kotti Sree Ramesh is an associate professor of English at Adikavi Nannaya University-Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh, India.
Kandula Nirupa Rani is Vice Chancellor at Adikavi Nannaya University in Rajahmundry, India.

Bibliographic Details

Kotti Sree Ramesh and Kandula Nirupa Rani
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2582-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

Introduction      5

1. Theoretical Considerations      13

2. The Colonial Subject: Poetry under Patronage      45

3. The Colonial in the United States: Anger and Ambiguity      65

4. The Exile: Is Harlem Home?      88

5. Negroism: The Banjo in Marseilles      112

6. Banana Bottom: The Return of the Native?      142

7. A Long Way from Home      169

Chapter Notes      185

Works Consulted      193

Index      205

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