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Shaping MemoriesReflections of African American Women Writers$
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Joanne Veal Gabbin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781604732740

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604732740.001.0001

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date: 21 January 2019

From “Shaping the World of My Art”

From “Shaping the World of My Art”

(p.14) From “Shaping the World of My Art”
Shaping Memories

Paule Marshall

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on the important early influences that shaped Paule Marshall’s work, and does this by going back to that stage in her life where she began the never-ending apprenticeship which is writing. Because her mother and her mother’s friends were poor peasant women who had emigrated from Barbados just shortly after World War I, they often spoke of home: the people, places, and events that had been so much a part of their former lives. They also often talked about the sea, which hemmed in their tiny island and which they said was visible from every point on the land. Many years later when Marshall herself visited Barbados and actually saw the sea at Bathsheba, Walker’s Bay, and Cattlewash, she echoed their sentiments. The sea was not to be played with. She tried capturing the feeling and thoughts it aroused in her in her last novel.

Keywords:   early influences, Paule Marshall, never-ending apprenticeship, peasant women, Barbados

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