Naturally Woman: The search for self in Black Canadian women’s literature

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Author: Sharon Morgan Beckford

In Naturally Woman, assistant professor of English Sharon Morgan Beckford explores the fiction and poetry of Canadian-Caribbean writers.

“I was inspired to write this book for two reasons: as a black diasporic female, a mother and a wife, I wanted to reflect on my identities and desire for individuation. I engaged this selection of literature as a way of learning about self and the human condition. Second, I wanted to use my analysis to shape an understanding of this literature that speaks to other aspects of life beyond the politics of race and racialization.

“I was intrigued by the techniques used by these women writers. I wanted to show that these stories revealed the hybrid nature of mythologies and literary traditions that are African, Caribbean, Amerindian and European. I wanted to determine how this syncretism illuminates the experiences of marginalized women living in modern multicultural societies. This analysis helped me to understand not only my many shifts across time and location, but also how those movements informed and shaped my personal relationships with my children, especially my daughter, and what they taught me about being a wife.”