Hunger and Irony in the French Caribbean

Literature, Theory, and Public Life

  • Nicole Simek

Part of the New Caribbean Studies book series (NCARS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Nicole Simek
    Pages 1-14
  3. Nicole Simek
    Pages 15-53
  4. Nicole Simek
    Pages 55-88
  5. Nicole Simek
    Pages 121-148
  6. Nicole Simek
    Pages 149-175
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 177-201

About this book


‘A superb study… The guiding proposition – that irony should be read as a vector that helps deploy figures of hunger – works very well to identify and underscore a series of tensions specific to Francophone Caribbean literary history and culture… Insightful, wide-ranging, and exciting.’ – Lydie Moudileno, Professor of French and Francophone Studies, University of Pennsylvania, USA

‘This book forwards a fascinating discussion of Francophone Caribbean writing through varying registers of hunger and irony.  By thinking of these as both material determinants and interpretive levers, Simek provides not only new ways to read Martinican and Guadaloupean literature, but usefully recasts possibilities for postcolonial critique in general.’ - Peter Hitchcock, Professor of English, The Graduate Center and Baruch College, City University of New York, USA

Through a series of case studies spanning the bounds of literature, photography, essay, and manifesto, this book examines the ways in which literary texts do theoretical, ethical, and political work. Nicole Simek approaches the relationship between literature, theory, and public life through a specific site, the French Antillean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, and focuses on two mutually elucidating terms: hunger and irony. Reading these concepts together helps elucidate irony’s creative potential and limits.  If hunger gives irony purchase by anchoring it in particular historical and material conditions, irony also gives a literature and politics of hunger a means for moving beyond a given situation, for pushing through the inertias of history and culture.


Martinique Guadeloupe postcolonial studies Ethics Hunger Irony studies Caribbean cultural theory culture English literature French history of literature irony literary theory literature

Authors and affiliations

  • Nicole Simek
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept of Foreign Languages and LiteraturesWhitman CollegeWalla WallaUSA

Bibliographic information