The Autobiography of Paras P.
In a fit of comic brilliance, Baldeosingh, an assistant editor of the Trinidad Guardian, has invented the Zelig-like Paras Parmanandansingh. A Trinidadian of Asian descent, Paras is blessed with light skin and cursed with an unspeakable weakness for chocolate. He is fascinated and intimidated by women who shamelessly expose their intelligence. He suffers from over-employment in fashion, journalism, politics and religion. He aspires to the status of Derek Walcott and V.S. Naipaul, but never quite makes it--until he discovers his true calling. Then what begins as a ""programme of self improvement"" becomes a personal doctrine of Correctness. His quixotic quest for Proper Behaviour provides ongoing laughter--with just a few pauses to let readers catch a breath. Paras's wild conceit and oblivious preposterousness allow readers to laugh at him, even at his comedic downfall. But what is central is Baldeosingh's sharp but loving. satiric commentary on all facets of Caribbean life--identity and self-hatred, the place of women and, above all, the inescapable love-hate relationship with the Empire. Tea, anyone? (July)