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They Came in Ships: An Anthology of Indo-Guyanese Prose and Poetry

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From 1838 until 1917, Indians arrived to work as indentured labourers in Guyana. The majority never returned to India and today over 50% of the Guyanese population is of Indian origin. This anthology of prose and poetry shows how the Indians changed the character of Guyana and the Caribbean and how, over 150 years of settlement, Indians became Indo-Guyanese. Ranging from t From 1838 until 1917, Indians arrived to work as indentured labourers in Guyana. The majority never returned to India and today over 50% of the Guyanese population is of Indian origin. This anthology of prose and poetry shows how the Indians changed the character of Guyana and the Caribbean and how, over 150 years of settlement, Indians became Indo-Guyanese. Ranging from the earliest attempts at cultural self-definition in the 19th century (and early narrative images of the Indian presence in non-Indian writing), to the creative writing of the 1990s, this anthology provides a fascinating insight into the transformation of an ancient culture in the New World. Extracts from novels, short stories, essays and poems explore the experience of plantation life, of relationships with other ethnic groups, issues of gender within Indo-Guyanese culture and the adjustments in cultural practices which separation from India and involvement with the new environment required. Brief introductory essays by Jeremy Poynting set historical contexts, and there is an invaluable bibliography of Indo-Guyanese writing. This is the only anthology of its kind.


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From 1838 until 1917, Indians arrived to work as indentured labourers in Guyana. The majority never returned to India and today over 50% of the Guyanese population is of Indian origin. This anthology of prose and poetry shows how the Indians changed the character of Guyana and the Caribbean and how, over 150 years of settlement, Indians became Indo-Guyanese. Ranging from t From 1838 until 1917, Indians arrived to work as indentured labourers in Guyana. The majority never returned to India and today over 50% of the Guyanese population is of Indian origin. This anthology of prose and poetry shows how the Indians changed the character of Guyana and the Caribbean and how, over 150 years of settlement, Indians became Indo-Guyanese. Ranging from the earliest attempts at cultural self-definition in the 19th century (and early narrative images of the Indian presence in non-Indian writing), to the creative writing of the 1990s, this anthology provides a fascinating insight into the transformation of an ancient culture in the New World. Extracts from novels, short stories, essays and poems explore the experience of plantation life, of relationships with other ethnic groups, issues of gender within Indo-Guyanese culture and the adjustments in cultural practices which separation from India and involvement with the new environment required. Brief introductory essays by Jeremy Poynting set historical contexts, and there is an invaluable bibliography of Indo-Guyanese writing. This is the only anthology of its kind.

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