Shelley-Robinson, Cherrell V.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Library and Information Studies
Finding a place in the sun : The immigrant experience in Caribbean youth literature
Children and Libraries
Date of Publication
Presented at the IBBY Congress 2004 in Cape Town, South Africa
Focuses on the search for an identity in the lives of Caribbean people and its close connection to the immigrant experience, which is a recurrent theme in many early works from outstanding Caribbean authors of adult fiction. While books for young people are fewer in numbers, this same theme also appears in their literature, providing valuable insights into how young people cope with the many challenges relating to finding a place in the sun in a new and strange society. Her discussion is confined to the literature describing the experiences of persons belonging to the English-speaking or Commonwealth Caribbean countries. This decision is based on the fact that, besides the English language, Spanish, French, and Dutch are also spoken in the Caribbean, and the literature in these other languages remains largely inaccessible to the writer. Another limitation is that the immigrant experience relates only to Britain and North America because prior to the 1970s, for historical reasons, England was the choice destination; however, since then, for geographical as well as political reasons, the pendulum has swung towards the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada. A final rationalization for this restriction is the nature of the literature itself, since most of what has been written emanates from either Britain or North America.....