Memory’s Method

Time, Space, and Remembrance in Caribbean Narratives


  • Magdala Desgranges Stony Brook University



Caribbean narratives, memory, transnationalism, memoirs, minority


Storytelling has the power to transform and transplant an audience into a higher form of consciousness, presenting nuanced views and correcting inaccurate portrayals of people, places, and phenomena the world over. Analyzing how memory is used in the works of Maryse Condé (Tales from the Heart) and Edwidge Danticat (Breath, Eyes, Memory), the intent of this paper is twofold: first, to articulate the role of temporality, transnationalism, and traces of collective memory in form and content of their works, and second, to highlight the political function embedded in both texts, writing beyond self and opening a parentheses to challenge “one-sided historicity.” I argue that a contextual and holistic understanding of what I call the three Ts (temporality, transnationalism, and traces of memory) as interconnected and not separate elements, are essential in the processes of Condé and Danticat, and the presence of Antillean identity they depict. As a result, an act of social justice is forged through literary critical analysis to represent and re-inscribe Caribbean cultural identity onto the global map.


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Author Biography

Magdala Desgranges, Stony Brook University

MAGDALA DESGRANGES is a PhD candidate in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at Stony Brook University. Her research interests focus on cultural identity in the Caribbean, transnationalism, Antillean narratives and African Diaspora Literature. Email: