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This book is the first full-length study of the literary output of South African-born, Mauritian-based novelist, Lindsey Collen. This study tackles these aspects of her writing from a cultural studies standpoint, encompassing both a socio-anthropological reading that identifies the creative energies that forge new connections and a literary analysis of the metaficitional potential of her novels as vehicles for the reassessment of social, cultural and historical conventions.


“…Hand is clearly the foremost authority on Collen today, having not just met and interacted with the author… Hand’s book shows a command on much of the secondary material on the island, not just on its literature, but also on its history, politics, society, and culture. All this makes her work invaluable…”-Professor Makarand R. Paranjape, Jawaharlal Nehru University

"This volume by Felicity Hand comes as a ground-breaking, and first book-length, critical study on the work of the Mauritian author Lindsey Collen. From the introductory section to the conclusions, the book engages the reader in an analysis of Collen's fiction and succeeds in bringing to the surface both the politics and poetics underlying her oeuvre.
Isabel M. Andres Cuevas,
Universidad de Granada
ATLANTIS, Journal of the Spanish Association of Anglo-American Studies, June 2013: pp167-71

“Felicity Hand has written a painstaking and useful study of the Mauritian based author Lindsey Collen. …a study which is detailed and learned and which…employs insights from a variety of disciplines. This multi-disciplinary approach combined with a nuanced femi-humanist approach makes this study a very useful addition to post colonial criticism…"Dr. Mohan Ramanan, University of Hyderabad

“…Not only does Hand make a persuasive case for the significance of Collen’s work in the wider sphere of Mauritian and Indian Ocean Literature, but the study also uncovers in Collen’s oeuvre a compelling range of locally and globally inflected themes, including the contentious issue of Diego Garcia, or socially taboo subject such as rape and abortion…" Dr. Mariam Pirbhai, Wilfrid Laurier University

"[The author] has done a vast amount of valuable research. She puts to good use anthropological and political material. Her readings of the ideological and aesthetic characteristics of Collen's novels are often subtle, thorough, and fully critical when necessary." -- Prof. Françoise Lionnet, UCLA

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Foreword by Makarand R. Paranjape
0. Introduction
1. Writing in and on Mauritius
9 1.1. From Uninhabited Island to Independent Republic
9 1.2. The Current Ethnoreligious Mosaic
1.3. Mauritian Identity: A Hotbed of Cultural Influences
1.3.1. Rocking the Indo-Mauritian Boat: the 1999 Kaya Riots
1.4. Lindsey Collen and Mauritian Writing in English
2. There is a Tide: A Flimsy Bit of Work?
2.1. Mauritius: a Laboratory of Hybridity
2.2. Creole Cuisine
2.3. An Ambiguous Dystopia
2.3.1. Out of the Dark Ages: Reclaiming Past History
3. The Rape ofSita: the Oppressed Cry Out
3.1. The Universality of Heteropatriarchy
3.2. Rape as a Tool of Gender Subjection
3.3. Rape and Colonization
3.4. A Very Mauritian Tale
4. Getting Rid Of It: Being a Woman
4.1. Class versus Ethnicity
4.2. Class and Gender
4.3. Women and "inside things"
4.4. A Viable Alternative or a Utopian Dream?
5. Mutiny: the Island Paradise in Question
5.1. Incarcerated on an Island, at Liberty in Prison
5.2. The Destructiveness and Empowerment of Cyclones
5.3. Playing with Time
5.4. "The inside will be part of the outside": Interrogating Freedom
6. Boy: Stepping Out of a Cocoon World
6.1. A Journey of Self-Discovery
6.2. Mauritius Revealed
6.3. The Past Moves into the Present
7. Conclusion: Embers of Fire

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