“Kingston Full of Them”: Madwomen at the Crossroads

  • Kelly Baker JosephsEmail author
Part of the New Caribbean Studies book series (NCARS)


In this chapter, Kelly Baker Josephs focuses on madwomen in Jamaican urban spaces, specifically at busy crossroads, and the different ways these familiar figures find themselves portrayed in literature, specifically Slade Hopkinson’s “The Madwoman of Papine” (1970 and 1976), Roger McTair’s “Ganja Lady” (1977), Jean “Binta” Breeze’s “Riddim Ravings” (1988), Olive Senior’s “You Think I Mad, Miss?” (1995), and Marcia Douglas’s “One-Girl Half Way Tree Concert” (2012). Josephs considers how the figure of the vocal, yet questionably visible, madwoman embodies the primary concerns of the writers—religion, colonialism, post-colonial government, education, or sexuality—that question the weight of social respectability for Anglophone Caribbean women. By reading the crossroads as simultaneously material and symbolic, the author locates these women as markers of both cultural and social geographies.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.York College, City University of New YorkNew York CityUSA

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