-Caribbean Literature

Arrival of the Snake-Woman

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The Toronto author Olive Senior's Jamaican birthplace provides the setting for these powerfully engaging stories that span a period of roughly 150 years, from the closing days of slavery in 1838 to the 1980s. The tensions wrought by rapid change and conflicting loyalties are at the heart of these stories, most beautifully evoked in the novella "Arrival of the Snake-Woman". Here a young boy narrates the seminal event of his childhood in the late nineteenth century: the coming of a lonely Indian indentured woman into a mountain village. Senior's stories are leavened with wit and humour and the intricate play with language; her characters emerge as triumphant examples of the human spirit unravelling the complex weave of race, class, and cultural and ethnic identity.

First Canadian Edition

"Arrival of the Snake-Woman contains some of Olive Senior's masterpieces. A new edition is a caus for celebration." - H Nigel Thomas, from the Afterword

"Arrival of the Snake-Woman has consilidated (Olive Senior's) reputation as one of the most accomplished writers of short fiction and as one of the Caribbeans finest creative minds." - Caribbean Week

ISBN/SKU: 
1894770536
Publication Date: 
2009-10-15

At the Full and Change of the Moon

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Written with lyrical fire in a chorus of vividly rendered voices, Dionne Brand's second novel is an epic of the African diaspora across the globe. It begins in 1824 on Trinidad, where Marie-Ursule, queen of a secret slave society called the Sans Peur Regiment, plots a mass suicide. The end of the Sans Puer is also the beginning of a new world, for Marie-Ursule cannot kill her young daughter, Bola -- who escapes to live free and bear a dynasty of descendants who spill out across the Caribbean, North America, and Europe. Haunted by a legacy of passion and oppression, the children of Bola pass through two world wars and into the confusion, estrangement, and violence of the late twentieth century.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780802137234
Publication Date: 
2000-08-01
Author: 
Publisher: 

Brown Girl in the Ring

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The rich and privileged have fled the city, barricaded it behind roadblocks, and left it to crumble. The inner city has had to rediscover old ways-farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and the tragic mystery surrounding her mother and grandmother.

She must bargain with gods, and give birth to new legends.

ISBN/SKU: 
0446674338
Publication Date: 
1998-07-01

Butterfly in the Wind

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From early in her life, Kamla is surprised by a contrary inner voice which frequently gainsays the wisdom of her elders and betters. But Kamla is growing up in a traditional Hindu community and attending schools in colonial Trinidad where rote learning is still the order of the day. She learns that this voice creates nothing but trouble and silences it. In this book, the voice is freed.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780948833366
Publication Date: 
2001-07-01
Author: 
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Certifiable

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Toronto writer Pamela Mordecai is a well-known voice in the poetry of the Caribbean diaspora. She has long been a popular anthologist, a mentor to other writers, a frequent contributor to literary journals, and a vital link between the literary worlds of Canada and Jamaica. Certifiable presents a maturing vision of women's lives in both of her homes. Certifiable celebrates experience shot through with affection, family attachment, and madness. The poems in the first section, "Just a Likl Loving," explore the truths hidden beneath the ideal of love: love as comfort, love as currency, love as deathtrap. "Sister Sequence" embraces the fullness of sisterhood, from the conceptual "sister muse" as a power in the world to the ambivalent love among flesh-and-blood sisters. "Certifiable," the final section, springs from intimacy with little and big madnesses. At the head of each. The rhythms and rhymes of the creole soundscape crackle through Certifiable. Mordecai's deft hand wordplay flows through and beyond standard English and the creole continuum to reveal the characters in Certifiable and record their experiences.

ISBN/SKU: 
0864922957

Collected Poems

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Victor D. Questel established himself as one of the finest new Caribbean poets in the 1970s with three collections, all published in his native Trinidad: Score (1972) published jointly with his friend Anson Gonzalez, Near Mourning Ground (1979) and his posthumous Hard Stares (1982). Sadly, Victor Questel died too young at 33 in 1982 and who knows how his writing would have further developed. What is evident is that his poetry developed rapidly in the ten years between first and last publications, and that he left many fine poems that continue to speak to the present."

ISBN/SKU: 
9781845232030
Publication Date: 
2016-09-01
Author: 
Publisher: 

Derek Walcott & West Indian Drama

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Written at Derek Walcott's suggestion, and based on interviews with the playwright, this is the first detailed study of a post-colonial theatre company and the problems of creating "serious" theatre in the former British colonies. The book shows how the Nobel Prize winner strove to create a world class theatre ensemble in the West Indies--a Trinidadian Brecht Berliner ensemble--and traces his life and career in West Indian theatre and the history of the Trinidad Theatre Workshop. A major contribution to West Indian history and theatre, Bruce King's study reveals the heroic will of Derek Walcott, and his determination to prove that West Indian drama was a force with which to be reckoned.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780198184645
Author: 
Publisher: 

Dream on Monkey Mountain

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ISBN/SKU: 
0374508607

Epic of the Dispossessed: Derek Walcott's Omeros

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In Epic of the Dispossessed, Robert D. Hamner offers an insightful, well-researched analysis of Omeros, the masterful epic poem by 1992 Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott. Rich and various, Omeros is an innovative extension of the epic tradition. Despite Walcott's insistence that he violates the formula - he notes his autobiographical presence in the poem and the absence of classical heroic figures and epic battles - the poem incorporates fragments of all the definitive characteristics of the genre. Hamner establishes that through its self-reflexive textuality, Omeros complements the time-honored tradition of the epic by giving voice to the marginalized peoples of the New World. Hamner briefly explains his perception of the epic tradition and its viability in contemporary literature. He examines Walcott's writing career and traces his development of devices, themes, techniques, and a narrative style essential to epic poetry. Although Walcott could not have fully anticipated Omeros, a retrospective view of his writing reveals the consistent accumulation of the skills and broad scope required for such an undertaking. Hamner attempts also to show that Walcott has incorporated into his personal style not only the more obvious aspects of his formal education but also uniquely West Indian cultural material and forms of expression. Hamner describes Omeros as an epic of the dispossessed because each of its protagonists is a castaway in one sense or another. Regardless of whether their ancestry is traced to the classical Mediterranean, Europe, Africa, or confined to the Americas, they are transplanted individuals whose separate quests all center on the fundamental human need to strike roots in a placewhere one belongs.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780826211521
Publication Date: 
1997-08-27
Author: 
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Higher Ground

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In Africa, a man recounts his days within the grinding machinery of the slave trade. Though spared manacles and a hellish ocean crossing by assisting in the degrading business, he is forced finally to confront an inescapable, vicious paradox - in the eyes of both his masters and his own people, he is a pariah. In America, Rudi Williams serves life imprisonment in a Southern jail, brutalised by his guards and isolated from his fellow inmates. Through his letters he writes home to explain himself, and to educate his family in the radical politics of the emerging Black Movement, we come to know a young man whose refusal to bow to the system not only upholds the remnants of his dignity but also seals his fate. In Europe, where the wounds of war are still open, a woman finds that she cannot, after all, to escape the ghetto. For in England, as formerly in Poland, the world outside is hostile, while inside, in her heart, her life is one of stifling fear and dreadful seclusion.

ISBN/SKU: 
0679763767

In This City (Exile Classics series)

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Poignantly capturing the sorrow and torment of the dispossessed, this collection of stories focuses on the contemporary experiences of urban dwellers longing for a place to call home. Private lives and intimate pains are made public, and the rawness of the moment is redeemed by the elegance of Clarke's prose and the innate sympathy of his eye.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781550961065
Publication Date: 
2008-09-01
Author: 
Publisher: 

Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home

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ISBN/SKU: 
0901241377

Krik? Krak?

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When Haitians tell a story, they say "Krik?" and the eager listeners answer "Krak!" In Krik? Krak! In her second novel, Edwidge Danticat establishes herself as the latest heir to that narrative tradition with nine stories that encompass both the cruelties and the high ideals of Haitian life. They tell of women who continue loving behind prison walls and in the face of unfathomable loss; of a people who resist the brutality of their rulers through the powers of imagination. The result is a collection that outrages, saddens, and transports the reader with its sheer beauty.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780679766575
Publication Date: 
1996-04-01
Author: 
Publisher: 

Lizards Under the Roof: A Novel

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This story takes place on an island with the familiar characters, issues and sights of Caribbean life. At the centre of this world are the Weavers, a mixed-race, middle-class family, and the Mayers family, whose ancestors, the Pindars, tried to uphold tradition, only to discover that love transcends even tradition. Eve, the Weavers' house help who is from a nearby village, is a calm witness to the dramas which are unfolding between these two families drawn together by a series of strange circumstances. With the help of Alexander and Ranee, pioneers of their religious faith, everyone pulls through the difficulties they face as a result, and manages to resolve many issues, maintain family ties, preserve friendships, forge new friendships and grow spiritually into stronger, better human beings. They remind us of some of the mistakes that we have made in our lives as a result of making uninformed or wrong choices. We cannot help but read between the lines that to err is human, and to forgive, divine. 'Lizards Under the Roof' is a novel stating and proving that people from different cultures, races, religions, nationalities and social standing can live together in harmony, once the spiritual impulse brings the understanding that we have more in common than what divides us. The greatest gift of God, our soul, bestowed at conception, is what all of us share and this makes us equal. The innumerable prejudices dividing us are all man-made. God desires only that we live in unity and peace, showing forth love to all of His creation. This story involves individuals and families living and interacting on an island in the Caribbean, bringing out the changes in the way of life under the impact of history, roughly spanning a period from just before World War One to the early Nineties.

ISBN/SKU: 
9768215453
Publication Date: 
2007-03-01
Author: 
Publisher: 

Louisiana

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ISBN/SKU: 
1873201117

Lucy

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The coming-of-age story of one of Jamaica Kincaid's most admired creations--newly available in paperback

Lucy, a teenage girl from the West Indies, comes to North America to work as an au pair for Lewis and Mariah and their four children. Lewis and Mariah are a thrice-blessed couple--handsome, rich, and seemingly happy. Yet, alomst at once, Lucy begins to notice cracks in their beautiful facade. With mingled anger and compassion, Lucy scrutinizes the assumptions and verities of her employers' world and compares them with the vivid realities of her native place. Lucy has no illusions about her own past, but neither is she prepared to be deceived about where she presently is.

At the same time that Lucy is coming to terms with Lewis's and Mariah's lives, she is also unravelling the mysteries of her own sexuality. Gradually a new person unfolds: passionate, forthright, and disarmingly honest. In Lucy, Jamaica Kincaid has created a startling new character possessed with adamantine clearsightedness and ferocious integrity--a captivating heroine for our time.

ISBN/SKU: 
0374527350

Midnight Robber

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It's Carnival time and the Caribbean-colonized planet of Toussaint is celebrating with music, dance, and pageantry. Masked "Midnight Robbers" waylay revelers with brandished weapons and spellbinding words. To young Tan-Tan, the Robber Queen is simply a favorite costume to wear at the festival-until her power-corrupted father commits an unforgiveable crime.

Suddenly, both father and daughter are thrust into the brutal world of New Half-Way Tree. Here monstrous creatures from folklore are real, and the humans are violent outcasts in the wilds. Tan-Tan must reach into the heart of myth and become the Robber Queen herself. For only the Robber Queen's legendary powers can save her life . . . and set her free.

ISBN/SKU: 
0446675601
Publication Date: 
2000-03-01

More

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From Austin Clarke, the critically acclaimed author of The Polished Hoe" winner of the Giller Prize comes More, "a powerful new novel of survival in a cold and alienating world. Certain to become a classic in contemporaryworld literature, More "carries readers into thelonely life of an immigrant domestic abandoned years before by a faithless husband, her life devastated by her son s involvement in gang culture and crime and her remarkable journey from tragedy back to the light. Anunforgettable portraitof the black immigrant experience, it is a novel to be read and remembered."

ISBN/SKU: 
9780061772412
Publication Date: 
2010-11-01
Author: 
Publisher: 

New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean

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ISBN/SKU: 
9781845233365

Pig Tails 'n' Breadfruit - Anniversary Edition

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Growing up in Barbados, Austin Clarke was surrounded by women in the kitchen. Enveloped in the heavenly smells and smoke of their cooking, he listened to their talk about the food they were preparing. His mother; several aunts and numerous cousins always recited the steps they were taking as they cooked, and through them, he learned how to cook the traditional dishes of Barbados - food that has its origins in the days of slavery, of hardships and economic grief, when 'ingreasements' (ingredients) were scarce. The food was not just intended to 'full a hole in your stomach', according to Austin's mother, but to make you 'feel good', 'grow into a strong man' and give you 'big-big brains'. In Pig Tails 'n' Breadfruit, Austin Clarke shares his favourite recipes, including Smoked Ham Hocks with Lima Beans, Breadfruit Cou-Cou with Braising beef, Oxtails with Mushrooms, Pepperpot, and his renowned Chicken Austintacious. He reveals his method for choosing a 'nice piece o' pigtail from the brine barrel', demonstrates how to test an okra for freshness, outlines the essential characteristics of a real pork chop, and instructs us in the proper use of a cou-cou stick, that essential tool found in every Barbadian home. And all the while he reminisces about the food he ate as a boy and the rituals that went along with it. Whether it's a story about the village butcher whose qualifications were somewhat suspect, how to map a sure-fire route to a woman's heart through her stomach, or searching the streets of Durham, North Carolina, for fried chicken with Norman Mailer, Austin Clarke will make you hungry for 'hot cuisine' and the spirit of the island.

ISBN/SKU: 
9789766378820
Publication Date: 
2014-07-02
Author: 
Publisher: 

Summer Lightning

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Written in vivid, colourful detail, these rich, compelling stories recreate with sensitivity and wit a whole range of emotions, from childhood hope to brooding melancholy.

ISBN/SKU: 
0582786274

The Dragon Can't Dance

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Carnival takes on social and political importance in this recognized classic. The people of the shantytown Calvary Hill, usually invisible to the rest of society, join the throng and flaunt their neighborhood personas in masquerade during Carnival. Aldrick, the dashing "king of the Hill," becomes a glorious, dancing dragon; his lovely Sylvia, a princess; Fisheye, rebel idealist, a fierce steel band contestant; and Philo, Calypso songwriter, a star. Then a business sponsors Fisheye's band, Philo gets a hit song, and Sylvia leaves the Hill with a prosperous older man. For Aldrick, it will take one more masquerade this time, involving guns and hostages before the illusion of power becomes reality."

ISBN/SKU: 
9780892552726
Publication Date: 
2003-06-16
Author: 
Publisher: 

The Enigma of Arrival

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ISBN/SKU: 
0140098860

The Fiction of Robert Antoni

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Examining the work of Robert Antoni, the Trinidadian/ Bahamian Caribbean writer, this title places his work in the multiple contexts of Caribbean storytelling, twentieth-century literature and contemporary Caribbean fiction. It explores each of his innovative and complex texts.

ISBN/SKU: 
9789766402297
Publication Date: 
2010-01-31

The Hills Were Joyful Together

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Bending and manipulating the linear narrative structures of conventional fiction, this stark and brutal noveloriginally published in 1953is a powerful reflection on colonial Jamaica and the condition of the urban poor, told through the voices and stories of several boldly drawncharacters. Beginning with Surjue, a man arrested and imprisoned following a botched robbery, who struggles for survival within Jamaica s colonial prison, this tale bears an unflinching and distressing realism that combines poetic spirit, tragic vision, and prophetic rage, while offering an acute look at the reality the poor in 1950s Jamaica."

ISBN/SKU: 
9781845231002
Publication Date: 
2016-09-19
Author: 
Publisher: 
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