Green Cane and Juicy Flotsam: Short Stories by Caribbean Women

Carmen C. Esteves, Editor, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, Editor Rutgers University Press $52 (273p) ISBN 978-0-8135-1737-7
Poetically written (and translated) yet sword-sharp with anger, these 27 stories explore the lives of characters who were born victims because of their sex, race and class. Some authors are familiar, Jamaica Kincaid and Jean Rhys among them. Others, such as Hazel D. Campbell, are unearthed treasures. Campbell's entry looks at Jamaican poverty through the eyes of a wealthy white woman whose tanklike Mercedes enables her to ``lock out the stenches of gutters and over-crowded human flesh . . . the sounds of human distress.'' The stories are told in a broad range of styles and voices, from skittish upper class to seething working class. A parasol is an improbably apt narrator in a story by Olga Nolla. While its ``black skin'' shields a landowner's wife from the elements, the parasol observes her husband's efforts to shield her, against her will, from the improverished world beyond their property. Nolla illuminates a recurrent theme of this powerful collection: the barriers and the underlying bonds between privileged and oppressed women in Caribbean (or any) society. The editors are both translators and professors at Lehman College in New York. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-8135-1738-4
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