The Guyanese Wanderer: Stories

Jan R. Carew, Author, Austin Clarke, Introduction by . Sarabande $14.95 (107p) ISBN 978-1-932511-50-5

The exploitation of Guyana’s wry peasantry centers Guyana-born, Louisville-based Carew’s lushly descriptive collection. “Chantal” proves a cautionary story of how far a husband can push his wife—and vice versa—before triggering a violent backlash. Two of the tales involve the passage to manhood of young Belfon, whose hard-luck mother gives him away in “The Visit” when she gets pregnant by a man other than Belfon’s father. Brought up by his wealthy godfather, Atlassa, Belfon is the first student from his village of Biaro to win a place at the university, and in “The Initiation of Belfon,” he heads to Trinidad by boat. He stops at the home of an old family friend and sensuous preacher-woman, Couvade, who teaches him more about the world than his godfather could. The last three stories pursue a West Indian man in exile, Cesar, who emigrated to Britain during WWII and remains in London as part of a “colonial old-timer” community, suffering enduring discrimination and eager to return home. In these 10 sharply observed tales, Carew makes a Guyanese sensibility—its wanderings home and away—palpable. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
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