Chapter

“Neither Pathological nor Perfect”: Joyce Gladwell’s Late Autobiographical Challenge to the Windrush Generation

Donette Francis

in Beyond Windrush

Published by University Press of Mississippi

Published in print July 2015 | ISBN: 9781628464757
Published online January 2017 | e-ISBN: 9781628464801 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.14325/mississippi/9781628464757.003.0006
“Neither Pathological nor Perfect”: Joyce Gladwell’s Late Autobiographical Challenge to the Windrush Generation

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This chapter analyzes Joyce Gladwell’s long-overlooked 1969 autobiography, Brown Face, Big Master, arguing that it is a key postwar Anglophone Caribbean text because it narrates Gladwell’s migration from Jamaica to London in the 1950s and demonstrates that women had significantly different experiences of migration than did their male counterparts, challenging in particular the widely held view that Christianity and respectability were simply means of assimilation. Rather, Francis argues, Gladwell employed Christianity as a productive strategy for understanding and negotiating colonialism, racism, and gender-based discrimination—to illuminate both her experience of discrimination and her own class-based prejudices. Gladwell’s memoir should, Francis argues, be seen as a feminist intervention and be placed in conversation with male novelists of the period as well as with Frantz Fanon’s theorization of race, gender, and colonialism and with Peter Wilson’s argument concerning respectability and gender in the Caribbean.

Keywords: Christianity; Joyce Gladwell; Autobiography; Respectability; Feminism

Chapter.  6751 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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