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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Urban Communities

Urban Communities

(p.85) Chapter 2 Urban Communities
Communities in Contemporary Anglophone Caribbean Short Stories

Lucy Evans

Liverpool University Press

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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