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Beyond WindrushRethinking Postwar Anglophone Caribbean Literature$
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J. Dillon Brown and Leah Reade Rosenberg

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628464757

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628464757.001.0001

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Kingston Calling: Mais’s Paris, 1954

Kingston Calling: Mais’s Paris, 1954

(p.179) Kingston Calling: Mais’s Paris, 1954
Beyond Windrush

Faith Smith

University Press of Mississippi

Based on innovative archival research, this chapter offers a new lens for understanding the canonical Windrush novelist, Roger Mais, long famous for his anticolonial journalism and his powerful portrayals of Jamaica’s working poor. Mais valued his painting as much as his writing. While George Lamming saw a break from the philistinism of the Caribbean middle classes as necessary to the creation of the West Indian novel, Mais maintained a complex relation to his middle class family in Jamaica—dependent on its financial assistance and desirous of its approval. While London was seen as the center of postwar West Indian writing, Mais found Paris more accepting. There he proofread Brotherman, wrote, painted, and exhibited his work—becoming engaged with Existentialism, its theorization of the gaze of the other, and leading figures such as Richard Wright. These contexts influenced Mais’s novels and as such need to influence our understanding of them.

Keywords:   Roger Mais, Painting, Gaze of the Other, Middle class, Paris

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