In 1831, three years before England abolished slavery in the British Caribbean, the narrative of Mary Prince was published in London. It was the first account written by a Caribbean slave to be published. Although narratives and stories of Caribbean women have appeared sporadically in subsequent years, it is only since 1970 that a wave of women's writing has innudated the field, thereby changing the horizons of Caribbean literature. In April 1988, at the first conference of its kind, some 50 Caribbean women writers and critics gathered at Wellesley College to discuss their common enterprise. The essays in this volume, based on presentations at that conference, represent the first systematic attempt by these writers to talk about their experiences in practicing their craft. The pieces tell us what has impelled the women to write, what has given them the courage to call themselves writers and what they have chosen to write about and why. In some cases, excerpts from writings are included. The essays are supplemented by the observations of social and literary critics, who place the pieces in historical context.