Apparently innocuous, sugar is a substance which brings with it a profound disquiet, not least because of its direct links with the histories of slavery in the New World. These links have long been a source of critical fascination, generating several landmark analyses, ranging from Fernando Ortis's Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar (1940) and Noel Deerr's monumental two-volume The History of Sugar (1949-50) to Sidney Mintz's Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (1985).
Unlike previous texts, Plasa's meticulously researched book not only examines the traditional classic studies but also the hitherto largely ignored work produced by a number of expatriate Caribbean authors, both male and female, from the 1980s onwards. As a result Slaves to Sweetness provides the most comprehensive account to date of the historical transformations which sugar's representation has undergone, providing a rich resource for scholars in Slavery, Caribbean, Black Atlantic, Postcolonial and Literary Studies.
Dr Carl Plasa is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Cardiff University. Previous books include Textual Politics from Slavery to Postcolonialism: Race and Identification (Palgrave, 2000), Toni Morrison: Beloved, Columbia Critical Guides Series (Columbia University Press, 1999) and The Discourse of Slavery: Aphra Behn to Toni Morrison (co-edited with Betty J. Ring, Routledge, 1994).
Acknowledgements Introduction 1. `Muse Suppress the tale': James Grainger's The Sugar-Cane and the poetry of refinement 2. `Stained with Spots of Human Blood': Sugar, abolition and cannibalism 3. `Conveying away the Trash': Sweetening Slavery in Matthew Lewis's Journal of a West India Proprietor, kept during a residence in the Island of Jamaica 4. `Sugared almonds and pink Lozenges': George Eliot's `Brother Jacob' as Literary Confection 5. `Cane is a Slaver': Sugar Men and Sugar Women in postcolonial Caribbean poetry 6. `Daughters Sacrificed to Strangers': Interracial desires and intertextual memories in Caryl Phillips's Cambridge 7. `Somebody Kill Somebody, Then?': The sweet revenge of Austin Clarke's The Polished Hoe Bibliography Index