Cover for Signs of Dissent
Signs of Dissent
Maryse Condé and Postcolonial Criticism
Dawn Fulton

Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies - United States, (2009)

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Maryse Condé 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 Condé, Dawn Fulton situates this award-winning author’s work in the context of current theories of cultural identity in order to foreground Condé’s unique contributions to these discussions. Staging a dialogue between Condé’s novels and the field of postcolonial studies, Fulton argues that Condé 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," Condé 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 Condé’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 Condé’s literary production to date, illuminating its exceptional role in shaping a dialogue between francophone studies and the English-dominated field of postcolonialism.

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