A Far Cry from Africa Essay

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Paul Witcover is a novelist and editor in New York City with an M.A. in creative writing and literature from the City University of New York. In the following essay, he discusses the personal and the political in Derek Walcott's poem, "A Far Cry from Africa."

In his 1993 critical biography, Derek Walcott, Robert D. Hamner observes, "It is not a simple choice between cultures for Walcott, but a matter of laying claim to his mixed heritage." This "mixed heritage," which the Swedish Academy, in awarding Walcott the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, referred to as "the complexity of his own situation," takes a variety of often-paradoxical forms. For example, Walcott is of both English and African genetic ancestry. The blood of colonizers and colonized, oppressors and oppressed, flows in his veins. Culturally, too, he is a hybrid. As a native of St. Lucia, a small island in...

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This section contains 1,651 words
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Literature of Developing Nations for Students
A Far Cry from Africa from Literature of Developing Nations for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.