Migrant Madness or Poetics of Spirit? Teaching Fiction by Erna Brodber and Kei Miller

  • Evelyn O’CallaghanEmail author
Part of the New Caribbean Studies book series (NCARS)


This chapter challenges the culturally nuanced distinction between the world of reason and other epistemological contexts of the world of the spirit in Caribbean literature. Inexplicable, even unreasonable behaviour—spirit possession, visions, warnings, and prophesying—are quotidian in Caribbean religious practice and tacitly acknowledged in Caribbean culture. But science and reason, associated with global modernity and suspicious of such irrational conduct, judge it abnormal, pathological, indicative of mental illness. Evelyn O’Callaghan examines the performance of transcendence and its reception, in and outside the region, in two novels by Erna Brodber and Kei Miller. At the core of both texts is the multiply-signifying “revival”; the chapter concludes by teasing out how it functions in both works.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the West IndiesBridgetownBarbados

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