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Communities in Contemporary Anglophone Caribbean Short Stories$
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Lucy Evans

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381182

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381182.001.0001

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date: 13 December 2017

Urban Communities

Urban Communities

Chapter:
(p.85) Chapter 2 Urban Communities
Source:
Communities in Contemporary Anglophone Caribbean Short Stories
Author(s):

Lucy Evans

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781381182.003.0003

Focusing on Jamaica’s capital city, Kingston, Chapter Two explores portrayals of urban communities in Alecia McKenzie’s Satellite City and Other Stories (1992) and Kwame Dawes’ A Place to Hide and Other Stories (2003). Both highlight the impact of dominant imaginings of Kingston on social relations, drawing attention to how perceptions of a city inform experiences of urban space. This chapter argues that by incorporating a variety of narrative voices, alongside their allusions to other modes of expression such as music, art, tabloid journalism and radio, Dawes’ and McKenzie present Kingston as a site of competing narratives. The chapter also suggests their stories contribute to shaping the city’s urban imaginary. In Dawes’ cycle, individual stories are drawn together by a ‘reggae aesthetic’, enabling the envisaging of connections between the city’s urban communities. McKenzie’s collection builds an intricate network of social relations, extending across stories, which complicates Kingston’s imagined uptown/downtown dichotomy.

Keywords:   Alecia McKenzie, Satellite City, Kwame Dawes, A Place to Hide, Kingston, Jamaica, urban communities, urban space, reggae

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