World Literature in English
Dionne Brand
Major Themes
Issues for Discussion:  Interviews: Brand talks about Blossom 
Works Cited Related Sites


Her views on Trinidad, the Caribbean and immigrant identity:

布蘭德自稱「逃離」家鄉的,因為當時在千里達她身為一個女孩很受限制 (所以她也是逃離femininity﹔ Silvera 361-63)。但對她而言,她既不住在「那裡」(千里達),也不住在這裡(加拿大),而是在兩者之中(Birbalsingh 1996: 122)。


  • 在長篇詩集《炎日記事》(Chronicles of a Hostile Sun)中,她痛責美國阻撓格里那達的革命(Cf. Kaup 178-79)。
  • 在短篇小說〈飛行中速寫……回家〉("Sketches in transit……going home")中,主角也是支持家鄉革命的,批評的是在小島間跳躍( “island hopping” 143),作進出口業和協辦妓女院的資本家。布蘭德不斷寫「返鄉」的故事的,但主角回家的路仍是危危可岌的:遠方的小島「看似」安靜,飛行中的飛機卻充滿鐵?﹔一不小心,她就可能掉出去,掉「在天空和格里那達人中間」(145)。
Her views on Canadian Multiculturalism--compared with Bissoondath:


布松達認為多元文化政策造成「一種加拿大式的、溫和的、文化種族隔離政策」(Hutcheon 315);布蘭德也認為它將加勒比海裔分隔開來,「沒有處理真正的〔政治、經濟上〕的權力問題」(Hutcheon 274)。


布松達的立場是同化式的:他否定自己的族裔性,主張應該有一個「統一的加拿大性」(“an across-the-board standard of what it is to be Canadian ” Hutcheon 316)。

布蘭德則將自己置於黑人文化的中心寫作:每次寫作都會「回去」:不是回千里達,而是回溯黑人五百年奴隸史(Hutcheon 273)。



Brand's view on Blossom

I think that Blossom's distrust of whites is not based on some personal craziness of hers.  It's based on historical practice.  It is based on historical events that place her as a black woman in the world at this point in time. …The whites in the story are not Blossom's only antagonists, though whites might read the story that way. Blossom’s also frees herself of an exploiting husband. What B hates is suffering and the suffering of black peoples. (Hutcheon 272)

  1. 276—she also has a buoyancy. She never thinks of dying. Her anger moves her. You can be angry about silences and injustice. …And if that anger can then move ou, I think it’s the real answer. In this culture, one tends to think that anger is destructive. Anger is not an emotion that’s only distinguished by destructiveness. …In fact, B is one of the least angry of my characters. She is a woman of mighty resilience and quick action.  
  1. 273 I find myself in the middle of black writing. I’m in the centre of black writing, and those are the senisbilities that I check to figure out something that’s truthful.
 We are the new wave of Canadian writing. We will write about the internal contradictions. 277

Birbalsingh's interview 122

I finally decided that I don't live there, and in some ways I don't live here either, so I live between here and there.

Q: The older writers had very solid memories of home to fall back on, and they mined those memories in their writing.

A: I wasn't as nostalgic, I think, as some of them might have been. I was new. Here I was being able to make connections with African-Americans. I saw great hope in that. I didn't long for home at all. I longed for a past, a kind of validation of my history, which I thought I could find in a past that was beyond my grandparents. …It was located somewhere in the consciousness of a people that had to do with slavery, that other exile.

 About "Blossom" and African tradition 132

That story is based on fact: I met this woman running a basement speakeasy in her house, and she had run the speakeasy for years and years. She was a Jamaican woman without a single tooth in the front of her mouth, and she would throw people out who were drunk. Also one day I saw an old man xeroxing something. I thought I'd read over his shoulder and it was all these little potions he was preparing for people. He was an obeah man and that was obeah gone modern tech. It's interesting how our people could come here and adapt things that used to work for them somewhere else so that they work for them here too.

Gender issue 133

Q: In your stories the women have a certain resilience. The men come and go, like Victor in 'Blossom", but the women go on apparently forever. Is that particularly Caribbean? Was it part of your family? …

A: It's very much what I saw in my family, and what I saw in the other families on MacGillvray Street. …

Q: I should think this [subject not being women] is true for West Indian writing in general. Is it not dominated by male writers?

A: It's not just dominated by male writers but dominated by themselves as subject in it, despite the evidence of their own lives.