The Erotics of Change

Donna Aza Weir-Soley

in Eroticism, Spirituality, and Resistance in Black Women’s Writings

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033778
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039008 | DOI:
The Erotics of Change

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Opal Palmer Adisa's first novel, It Begins with Tears, represents a more contemporary revision of the Janie paradigm. Set in a fictional village in rural Jamaica, Adisa's novel interrogates contesting ideologies and values vis-à-vis notions of progress and modernity in the late twentieth century. Adisa's text uses a female-centered, Afro–Caribbean spirituality as the bridge between two competing ideologies (modernity and tradition) whose oppositional imperatives threaten the cohesion and stability of the community. Drawing upon the syncretic religious traditions of Jamaica, Adisa uses strong female characters modeled after West African orishas and linked with nature to demonstrate the coterminous relationship between individual female empowerment and sociopolitical viability for the community. Adisa's codification of the erotic as both spiritual and sexual energy takes place at several levels within the text.

Keywords: Opal Palmer Adisa; Jamaica; female empowerment; sexual energy; Afro–Caribbean spirituality; modernity; tradition; orishas; female sexuality

Chapter.  18039 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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