Consuming the Caribbean: Tourism, Sex Tourism, and Land Development in Nicole Dennis-Behn's <i>Here Comes the Sun</i>

  • Jennifer Lynn Donahue The University of Arizona
Keywords: Caribbean literature, postcolonial literature, resorts, tourism, sex tourism

Abstract

In Here Comes the Sun, Nicole Dennis-Behn explores the interplay of structural inequalities and questions who benefits from the commoditization of land and women’s bodies. The author utilizes the space of a fictional resort, a site where racial and economic tensions play out, to examine asymmetrical power relations. The novel situates sexual exploitation and environmental devastation as parallel forces and demonstrates that the stigma against homosexual intimacy functions as a site of social control. This article extends scholarship on the trope of Caribbean paradise by reading the service economies in the novel as a set of consumptive industries that are reliant on consumer fantasies. My analysis considers the novel in light of recent scholarship on the relationship between landscape and power, the function of racial-sexual economies in the Caribbean, and the construction of the Caribbean picturesque. I argue that Dennis-Behn positions Jamaican citizens as perpetrators as well as beneficiaries of extractive and exploitative practices to complicate understandings of intersecting systems of oppression. 

Author Biography

Jennifer Lynn Donahue, The University of Arizona

Jennifer Donahue is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Arizona. She specializes in Caribbean literature with a focus on the relationship between narrative, trauma, and sexual politics. Her work has appeared in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Studies in Gothic Fiction, and Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research. She is currently working on a book-length study of the intersection of medicine, race, and empire in 18th and 19th century Caribbean writing.

Published
2018-12-19