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The Whistling Bird: Women Writers of the Caribbean

Elaine Campbell and Pierrette Frickey, editors
The Whistling Bird: Women Writers of the Caribbean
ISBN: 978-0-89410-410-7
1998/280 pages/LC: 97-46089

"The juxtaposition of some early work with that of some newcomers from all over the region makes the volume as fresh to experienced readers as to those encountering the work of Caribbean women for the first time."—Year's Work in English Studies

"A richly textured, finely crafted volume."—Phyllis Briggs-Emanuel, The Caribbean Writer

"Established Caribbean authors such as Jean Rhys, Maryse Condé and Jamaica Kincaid lead but do not dominate this strong collection of fiction, plays and verse.... This anthology succeeds in offering a wide range of high-quality work."—Publishers Weekly


The Whistling Bird celebrates what were until recently the little-heard voices of women writers from the Caribbean. The anthology includes short stories, poetry, drama, and excerpts from novels—all rich, melodic works written with clarity and conviction.


Elaine Campbell is lecturer in writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Campbell’s recent books include The Flamboyant Tree: Caribbean Folklore and Herblore; she is currently completing a novel, The Brass Ring. Pierrette Frickey is associate professor of French and Spanish at the University of West Georgia. Dr. Frickey’s publications on Caribbean and French literature include Critical Perspectives on Jean Rhys.


  • Introduction.
  • Excerpt from The Autobiography of My MotherJamaica Kincaid.
  • I Do Not Know My Father—Esther Phillips.
  • Longtime Story—Zee Edgell.
  • Old Lady; The Promise; Kantika Pa Mama Tera—Nydia Ecury.
  • The Child’s Return; Love for an Island; Miss Garthside’s Greenhouse—Phyllis Allfrey.
  • The Whistling Bird; excerpt from Wide Sargasso SeaJean Rhys.
  • Smile Please to Me—Christabel LaRonde.
  • Caribman; Blacksister; C’est juste une guêpe; Maroussia—Gilda Nassief.
  • Madelene—Merle Collins.
  • Wayang Kulit—Maryse Condé.
  • Excerpt from The Bridge of BeyondSimone Schwarz-Bart.
  • Excerpt from Frangipani House—Beryl Gilroy.
  • Web of Kin; We the Women; These Islands—Grace Nichols.
  • HAITI.
  • Night Women—Edwidge Danticat.
  • Candy Seller; Bans o’ooman!—Louise Bennett.
  • Excerpt from MyalErna Brodber.
  • Excerpt from AbengMichelle Cliff.
  • Burnt Hill—Christine Craig.
  • Mulatta Song; Missing the Mountains—Lorna Goodison.
  • Excerpt from Pocomania; There Will Come a Time—Una Marson.
  • Marine Turtle; Mule—Velma Pollard.
  • Discerner of Hearts—Ollive Senior.
  • Lunchtime RevolutionCarmen Tipling.
  • Sweat, Sugar and Blood—Suzanne Dracius.
  • Eye Opener—Ana Lydia Vega.
  • Excerpt from When I Was Puerto Rican—Esmerelda Santiago.
  • The Tick-Tick Bicycle—Madeline Coopsammy.
  • Inez—Merle Hodge.
  • Excerpt from Bruised Hibiscus—Elizabeth Nunez.
  • Arise My Love—Jan Williams.
  • Biographical Notes.
No rights in the Caribbean.