"It's Always a Means to an End": Queering the Caribbean literary space in Valmiki's Daughter

Leila Assumpção Harris, Raquel Gonçalves Pires


The legacy of a colonial past marked by violence and oppression still inluences sexual politics on the Caribbean Islands. he absence of laws to protect lgbt citizens together with irmly rooted heteronormative structures make the islands an inhospitable place for those who do not comply with the rules, reinforcing the idea of Caribbean lgbts as virtually inexistent. In Valmiki’s Daughter shani mootoo uses literary representation to break “the silence about sexuality and nonnormalizing desire”. he novel underscores the sexual diversity of individuals situated inside a region that has been perceived as primarily heterosexual, a perception that needs to be deconstructed. however, mootoo implicitly acknowledges the constricted space for individuals that do not abide by compulsory heterosexuality, attesting the power of discursive processes and practices that still regulate bodies, genders and desires.


Caribbena Literature; Heteronormative Rules; Body; Gender; Discourse

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/2175-8026.2015v68n2p103

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