Ballad for the New World and Other Stories

Lawrence Scott, Author Heinemann Educational Books $9.95 (114p) ISBN 978-0-435-98939-2
Scott (Witchbroom), who hails from Trinidad and Tobago, has filled his collection of 12 short stories with all the rich nuances of the Carribbean, creating a convincing backdrop that allows even the most sedentary armchair traveler to visualize each tale's progression. The narrators are men and women, black and white, young and old, and usually each story ends with a bite that raises a question or makes a point that surfaces well into the next story. There is a quiet intimacy about these pieces, like ``Chameleon,'' about the timid son of a dominant father who for six years secretly peeped at a little neighbor girl-until his father found out. ``Because it was her birthday, Bernadetta had a new dress, a birthday dress spread over the hibiscus hedge.... He longed to reach out and touch it and pass the satin ribbons through his fingers.'' Even the corruption of the ``Yankee dollar'' becomes lyrical in the title story of a young man who ``lost his James Dean rebel smile.'' In an effort to do more than simply tell a story, Scott gets so descriptive that it occasionally takes a second look to catch the story's plot. But they're well worth the effort. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
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