Fearsome Worlds and Uncanny Children: Gothic Early Childhoods in Condé’s La migration des coeurs and Kincaid’s The Autobiography of My Mother

Suzanne Manizza Roszak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

117 Downloads (Pure)


Gothic depictions of early childhood and its antecedents from conception to childbirth stand to fundamentally shape readers’ understanding of colonialism across the transnational and translinguistic space of the Caribbean. This effect is particularly visible in contemporary novels such as Maryse Condé’s La Migration des coeurs (1995) and Jamaica Kincaid’s The Autobiography of My Mother (1996), which not only have been interpreted as rewritings of Wuthering Heights but also draw on a larger, more multicultural Gothic literary tradition. In their renderings of sexual violence, doomed pregnancies, and motherless infancy, Condé and Kincaid appropriate and edit Gothic conventions, highlighting persisting ramifications of the colonial project for women and children. Gothic youth also functions as a subversive site of resistance with the potential to dismantle imperialist ideologies and systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-363
Number of pages19
JournalContemporary Women's Writing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2021

Cite this