Signs of Dissent: Maryse Conde and Postcolonial Criticism

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Maryse Conde is a Guadeloupean writer and critic whose work has challenged the categories of race, language, gender, and geography that inform contemporary literary and critical debates. In Signs of Dissent , the first full-length study in English on Conde, Dawn Fulton situates this award-winning author's work in the context of current theories of cultural identity in order to foreground Conde's unique contributions to these discussions. Staging a dialogue between Conde's novels and the field of postcolonial studies, Fulton argues that Conde enacts a strategy of critical incorporations in her fiction, imitating and transforming many of the prevailing narratives of postcolonial theory so as to explore their theoretical and conceptual limits.By rejecting the facile classification of her work as Caribbean, African, or feminist, Conde has gained a reputation as an iconoclast. But Fulton proposes that behind this public image of provocation lies an incisive reflection on the burdens of representation imposed on the non-Western writer, and that Conde's novels expose the ways in which postcolonial criticism can be complicit in constructing such burdens even as it questions them. Signs of Dissent offers one of the most comprehensive assessments of Conde's literary production to date, illuminating its exceptional role in shaping a dialogue between francophone studies and the English-dominated field of postcolonialism.