Whispers from the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction

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9780967968315: Whispers from the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction

The lushness of language and the landscape, wild contrasts, and pure storytelling magic abound in this anthology of Caribbean writing. Steeped in the tradition of fabulism, where the irrational and inexplicable coexist with the realities of daily life, the stories in this collection are infused with a vitality and freshness that most writing traditions have long ago lost. From spectral slaving ships to women who shed their skin at night to become owls, stories from writers such as Jamaica Kincaid, Marcia Douglas, Ian MacDonald, and Kamau Brathwaite pulse with rhythms, visions, and the tortured history of this spiritually rich region of the world.

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About the Author:

Nalo Hopkinson was raised in the Caribbean and is the author of Brown Girl in the Ring and Midinight Robber. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

From Publishers Weekly:

From the lush and fertile Caribbean soil springs this collection of island fabulism, a jumble of genres including magical realism, ghost stories, myth and fables, and speculative/science fiction. The mix of well-known contemporary authors (Jamaica Kincaid, Kamau Brathwaite), distinguished writers from an earlier wave of Caribbean fiction (Wilson Harris, Antonio Benitez-Rojo) and many newcomers results in a rich and varied volume. Two slavery-based ghost stories stand out as the most powerful. The somber, affirming "Spurn Babylon," by Tobias S. Buckell, centers on an ancient slave ship sucked from the ocean's bottom by a hurricane and deposited on a St. Thomas waterfront. As the islanders restore the vessel, they are lured by a mysterious force to create a new history. Roger McTair's bloodcurdling "Just a Lark" draws on the 1865 Morant Bay slave rebellion in Jamaica. During the 1950s, when Jamaica is striving for independence from England, a group of college-age boys try to raise from the dead one of the island's cruelest plantation owners, killed during that rebellion. Also enchanting is Marcia Douglas's pitch-perfect "What the Periwinkle Remember," as an elderly woman reminiscing in a nursing home tells a poignant story of what happened the night she met up with the fabled rolling calf ghost. Robert Antoni's "My Grandmother's Tale of the Buried Treasure and How She Defeated the King of Chacachacari and the Entire American Army with Her Venus-Flytraps" is a hilariously ribald tall tale. Though the collection would have benefited from entries from Edwidge Danticat and Patrick Chamoiseau, readers interested in this region's deep-rooted literature will find a fine representation here. The book should also gain some readers from the SF/fantasy market, given its subject matter and Hopkinson's strong reputation in the SF field. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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