sx salon 11

February 2013

The Fiction of Independence

In this first 2013 issue of sx salon, we publish an extended discussion “The Fiction of Independence.” Our contributors for this special issue have each taken a unique approach to the double meaning of our chosen title. It is easy to, especially with the distance of time, see the fiction of the first flag-raising, to question its meaning and import. But there is also pride, and pleasure, and lasting change to be found in the stories we tell ourselves about independence.  Brian Meeks “reminisces” about “the night the black, gold, and green unfurled” and the stories behind that ceremonial moment. For Margaret Cezair-Thompson, that first Independence Day also sparks memories of familial intimacy, and she writes here about the connections between personal and national narratives. In lieu of an essay, my coeditor Andrea Shaw addresses the topic via poetry, with a series of poems set in Jamaica, building subtly toward midnight, 6 August 1962. These first three pieces blur what borders may exist between discussions of the private and public experiences of independence. The following three pieces tackle the impact of independence on cultural production. Harvey Neptune considers “a story about a story about independence in the British West Indies,” specifically, Island in the Sun, both film and novel. Next, Mark Raymond examines the relationship between “architectural culture” and the “profound historical sociopolitical transformation” of independence. My own essay focuses on the literature of the period and the pleasures we may still find in novels such as Sylvia Wynter’s The Hills of Hebron. We hope you find this collection of writings on independence illuminating and enjoyable.

As this is a special issue, we have not included any reviews, interviews, or additional creative pieces. In our Poetry & Prose section, however, we announce the short list for each section of the 2012 Small Axe Literary Competition. The winners of the 2012 competition:

  • In the Short Fiction category, first prize went to Sharon Millar and second prize to Alexia Arthurs.
  • In the Poetry category, first prize went to Danielle Boodoo- Fortuné  and second prize to Lynn Sweeting.

The competition is once again open for entries; the 2013 deadline is 31 May. sx salon is also once again open for submissions of reviews, interviews, poetry, creative prose, and short discussion articles. For more information, please click here. We hope you enjoy this special issue of sx salon (table of contents below).

Kelly Baker Josephs

Table of Contents

Introduction and Table of Contents—Kelly Baker Josephs

Discussion—The Fiction of Independence

Reminiscing in Black, Gold, and Green—Brian Meeks
History, Fiction, and the Myth of Marginality: Portrait of the Writer as a Young Woman—Margaret Cezair-Thompson
The Whisper of Doctor Bird Wings—Andrea Shaw
Is Just a Movie? “Island in the Sun,” Eric Gairy, and the Fiction of West Indian Black Power—Harvey R. Neptune
Architecture, Independence, and Identity in the Commonwealth Caribbean— Mark Raymond
Adultery and Anticolonialism: The Pleasures of Independence Literature— Kelly Baker Josephs


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