THE HOOK OF DESIRE: Slavery and David Dabydeen’s ‘Turner’

Product no.: HP262

Edited by Lynne Macedo


David Dabydeen’s ‘Turner’ is a long poem of twenty-five sections that takes its inspiration from J.M.W. Turner’s Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On (1840). Since the poem was first published in 1994, it has been subject to a significant level of critical debate and discussion which continues to the present day. The aim of this book is to bring together a selection of the many articles that have engaged with the poem, and to show how they explore its relationship to the events depicted in the painting. Edited with an Introduction by Lynne Macedo, The Hook of Desire contains eleven articles – three of which were specially commissioned for this book – that examine Dabydeen’s work from a number of different perspectives. Some are comparative, considering ‘Turner’ alongside other fictional responses to the infamous Zong incident, whilst others focus on the work’s intertextuality or its exploration of the transformative nature of the sea. A recurrent theme – highlighted by the poem’s fragmentary nature – is the inability of language to represent trauma, or to escape from the influence of past representations. In the present political climate with its focus upon ‘Black Lives Matter’, it seems likely that the powerful legacy of the Zong case, and its many differing interpretations, will continue to resonate.


  • 216 x 138 mm
  • 256 pages
  • Paperback


LYNNE MACEDO has a PhD in Caribbean Studies and is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies at the University of Warwick. She has previously taught at the Universities of Warwick, Aston and London Metropolitan, and has worked as General Editor for the Caribbean Press. Her research interests include Anglo-Caribbean literature and the history of cinema in the Caribbean. Previous publications include Talking Words (UWI Press, 2011), Pak’s Britannica (UWI Press, 2011), No Land, No Mother (Peepal Tree Press, 2007), and Fiction & Film (Dido Press, 2003). She is currently compiling a Bibliography of Indentureship for the Ameena Gafoor Institute.

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