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Postcards from the edge-city: Mass-media and photographic images in contemporary novels of the Black diaspora

Black Caribbean Literature (BCL)
Mason,Lauren Camille (Author)
Publication Date:
Michigan: Michigan State University
African American Research Center, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject Term:
Caribbean area, Blacks, Literature, Martinique, Brazil, Chamoiseau, Patrick, 1953-, Africa, African diaspora, Mass media, South America, Nigeria, Photography, Film studies, Wideman, John Edgar, 1941-, Abani, Chris, 1966-, Lins, Paulo, 1958-, Meirelles, Fernando, 1955-
164 p., Explores four contemporary novels and a film that rely heavily on photographic and mass-media images to illuminate, articulate, and critique modern-day Black urban existence: Patrick Chamoiseau's Texaco (1997), Chris Abani's Graceland (2004), John Edgar Wideman's Fanon , Paulo Lins' Cidade de Deus (1997), and Fernando Meirelles' 2002 film adaptation of Lins' novel City of God . Chapters examine the ways in which photographic and/or mass-media images are used as narrative tropes or devices for representing the material conditions of an emerging slum existence. The author argues that each text reveals a preoccupation with the rise of global urbanism and visual culture as new types of discursive spaces--new kinds of "texts"-- that shape not only the real life of black people, but also the literary landscape of Black writing across the globe.