cover of book

Phonographic Memories: Popular Music and the Contemporary Caribbean Novel
by Njelle W. Hamilton
Rutgers University Press, 2019
Paper: 978-0-8135-9659-4 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-9663-1 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-9660-0
Library of Congress Classification PR9205.05.H36 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.509357809729

Phonographic Memories is the first book to perform a sustained analysis of the narrative and thematic influence of Caribbean popular music on the Caribbean novel. Tracing a region-wide attention to the deep connections between music and memory in the work of Lawrence Scott, Oscar Hijuelos, Colin Channer, Daniel Maximin, and Ramabai Espinet, Njelle Hamilton tunes in to each novel’s soundtrack while considering the broader listening cultures that sustain collective memory and situate Caribbean subjects in specific localities. These “musical fictions” depict Caribbean people turning to calypso, bolero, reggae, gwoka, and dub to record, retrieve, and replay personal and cultural memories. Offering a fresh perspective on musical nationalism and nostalgic memory in the era of globalization, Phonographic Memories affirms the continued importance of Caribbean music in providing contemporary novelists ethical narrative models for sounding marginalized memories and voices.

Njelle W. Hamilton's Spotify playlist to accompany Phonographic Memories:
Nearby on shelf for English literature / English literature: Provincial, local, etc.: