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The Art of David Dabydeen

Authors: Kevin Grant

Published by Peepal Tree Press

ISBN: 9781900715102

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David Dabydeen is from the younger generation of Caribbean writers living in Britain. His work has been highly praised for its originality and imaginative depth. In this volume, leading scholars from Europe, North America and the Caribbean discuss his poetry and fiction in the context of the politics and culture of Britain and the Caribbean.

These studies explore David Dabydeen's concern with the plurality of Caribbean experience, with its African, Indian, Amerindian and European roots; the dislocation of slavery and indenture; migration and the consequent divisions in the Caribbean psyche. In particular, these essays focus on Dabydeen's aesthetic practice as a consciously post-colonial writer; his exploration of the contrasts between rural creole and standard English and their different world visions; the power of language to subvert accepted realities; his use of multiple masks as ways of dealing with issues of identity and the use of destabilizing techniques in the narrative strategies he employs.

"This is the first book about David Dabydeen and the first book in a series to be devoted to British Caribbean authors, by which is meant writers born in the Caribbean but resident in England. It is an extremely useful work consisting of three interviews and nine essays on the subject’s poetry and novels, followed by a bibliography of books and articles by Dabydeen and a list of reviews of his creative work. Part of the usefulness is that the essays overlap, build on, and disagree with one another. They bring out Dabydeen’s recurring themes, autobiographical material, and the links among his scholarly publications, interviews, and creative writings. The authors know Dabydeen, and some were his students or colleagues, which is reflected in the way that what were perhaps offhand remarks are passed on as truths."
Bruce King, World Literature Today

Kevin Grant read English at Middlesex University and did research at the University of Warwick for a book on Asians in Britain, focusing on the BCCI collapse.
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