That this book proved a pleasure to produce is chiefly thanks to the energy, commitment and intellectual passions of the contributors. I’ve learned much from each of them, and I hope readers will too.
John MacKenzie has been a staunch supporter from beginning to end. Rob Nixon gave early encouragement. Our initial contributors included Delia Jarrett-Macauley, though sadly force of circumstances required her to withdraw. A decisive moment in organising the arguments of the volume occurred when the authors met together in London. We were particularly delighted that Sue Thomas was able to come from Melbourne and we would like to express our thanks to the Australian Academy of the Humanities who provided her with the Travelling Fellowship which made this possible. We were also joined by a group of friends and colleagues who, for no recompense, over two days worked hard on our behalf: Stuart Hall, Julian Henriques, Peter Hulme, David Scott, Richard Smith and Brett St Louis. Both Stuart Hall and Peter Hulme offered wise counsel during the longer duration of this project, while David Scott’s dedication to bringing alive the intellectual traditions of the Caribbean served us beyond measure. We are deeply grateful to them all. Staff at Manchester University Press have been exemplary in every respect – and we should like to thank the anonymous reviewer whom the Press persuaded to comment on the original proposal.
I’m pleased to have the opportunity to record the influence on me (though not on me alone) of two fine Caribbean intellectuals, whose presence has touched the heart of this book: at some geographical distance for most of us, George Lamming; and closer to home, Stuart Hall.