Island Bodies: Transgressive Sexualities in the Caribbean Imagination
In Island Bodies, Rosamond King examines sexualities, violence, and repression in the Caribbean experience. Analyzing the sexual norms and expectations portrayed in Caribbean and diaspora literature, music, film, and popular culture, King skillfully demonstrates how many individuals contest traditional roles by maneuvering within and/or trying to change their society's binary gender systems. These transgressions have come to better represent Caribbean culture than the official representations perpetuated by governmental elites and often codified into laws that reinforce patriarchal, heterosexual stereotypes. Unique in its breadth as well as its multilingual and multidisciplinary approach, Island Bodies addresses homosexuality, interracial relations, transgender people, and women's sexual agency in Dutch, Francophone, Anglophone, and Hispanophone works of Caribbean literature. Additionally, King explores the paradoxical nature of sexuality across the region: discussing sexuality in public is often considered taboo, yet the tourism economy trades on portraying Caribbean residents as hypersexualized. Ultimately King reveals that despite the varied national specificity, differing colonial legacies, and linguistic diversity across the islands, there are striking similarities in the ways Caribglobal cultures attempt to restrict sexuality and in the ways individuals explore and transgress those boundaries.