Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2012

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Gollnick, Brian

Second Advisor

Curtius, Anny D.

First Committee Member

Gollnick, Brian

Second Committee Member

Curtius, Anny D.

Third Committee Member

Curto, Roxanna

Fourth Committee Member

Filios, Denise

Fifth Committee Member

Velez, Diana


My dissertation is about the feminine Caribbean perspective in three novels: Calypso (1996) by Tatiana Lobo; L'exil selon Julia (1996) by Gisèle Pineau; and Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994) by Edwidge Danticat. The values and traditions involved in the patriarchal system are reevaluated to allow the Caribbean female voice to express itself.

The novels are analyzed through the historical and linguistic specificities of the regions studied: the modernization of a small town on the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica, exile from the Caribbean to France, and the Haitian Diaspora in the United States. The Caribbean is seen as a heterogeneous area sharing particular and general historical facts. Female figures express themselves in English, French and Spanish concerning the domestic sphere and how it is affected by ethnic, migratory, and cultural traditions. Female bonds and religion work together, giving agency to the female characters and allowing them to reconcile their unique experiences.

The novels are understood together from a pan-Caribbean feminist perspective informed by the works of Édouard Glissant and Chandra Talpade Mohanty.


Caribbean Literature, Caribbean Studies, Latin American Literature, Women's Studies


v, 119 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 115-119).


Copyright 2012 Maricelle Pinto Tomas