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Humanities 2019, 8(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010010

Migratory Realities: The Interplay of Landscapes in the Guyanese Emigrant’s Reality in Jan Lowe Shinebourne’s The Godmother and Other Stories

Faculty of Education & Humanities, University of Guyana, Georgetown 413741, Guyana
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
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Abstract

Guyana’s high rate of migration has resulted in a sizeable Guyanese diaspora that continues to negotiate the connection with its homeland. Jan Lowe Shinebourne’s The Godmother and Other Stories opens avenues of understanding the experiences of emigrated Guyanese through the lens of transnational migration. Four protagonists, one each from the stories “The Godmother,” “Hopscotch,” “London and New York” and “Rebirth” act as literary case studies in the mechanisms involved in a Guyanese transnational migrant’s experience. Through a structuralist analysis, I show how the use of literary devices such as titles, layers and paradigms facilitate the presentation of the interplay of landscapes in the transnational migrant’s experience. The significance of the story titles is briefly analysed. Then, how memories of the homeland are layered on the landscape of residence and how this interplay stabilises the migrant are examined. Thirdly, how ambivalence can set in after elements from the homeland come into physical contact with the migrant on the landscape of residence, thereby shifting the nostalgic paradigm into an unstable structure, is highlighted. Finally, it is observed that as a result of the paradigm shift, the migrant must then operate on a shifted interplay that can be confounding. Altogether, the text offers an opportunity to explore migratory realities in the Guyanese emigrant’s experience. View Full-Text
Keywords: Guyanese diaspora; emigrant experiences; interplay of landscapes; Shinebourne Guyanese diaspora; emigrant experiences; interplay of landscapes; Shinebourne
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Persaud Cheddie, A. Migratory Realities: The Interplay of Landscapes in the Guyanese Emigrant’s Reality in Jan Lowe Shinebourne’s The Godmother and Other Stories. Humanities 2019, 8, 10.

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