In stock.[A] superb, and superbly written, novel of childhood and childhood's end. . . . Kempadoo writes in a rich creole, fillingher story with kaleidoscopic images of Guyana's coastal plains. . . . Her story is also one of sexual awakening, andshe explores these new feelings with a curiosity and freedom that are refreshing. . . . Kempadoo's novel, like theBuxton Spice mango tree, reveals its secrets, private and political, only sparingly until the bitter end.
The New York Times Book Review
Kempadoo's Caribbean argot is precise and fluid, enriching this debut with bawdiness, violence and raucous humor.
Los Angeles Times
About the Book
In Kempadoo's debut novel, we are immediately and vividly thrown into the mind and world of Lula, Kempadoo'sprepubescent narrator. Rich in sensory detail, the novel carries its reader along in a flow of snappy vignettes aboutten-year-old Lula's awakening sexuality, the people of Tamarind Grove, her racially mixed family and their conflictwith the PNC regime of Burnham's Guyana. Kempadoo's depiction of the ten-year-old psyche, in Guyana or anywhere is shockingly accurate.
, like the mind of a ten-year-old girl, is preoccupied with sex. Sex andthe three prostitutes in town, the burgeoning sexual prowess of the slightly older neighboring boys, and a graphicallydescribed scene of sex play among Lula and her sister and a set of neighboring sisters. Lula's world is a confusingplace; her body and role are changing, as is the political landscape of Guyana. She looks to the Buxton Spice mangotree that towers over her house like an omniscient God. She is full of questions about the violent world around her.The big tree, she believes, knows but won't tell her its secrets. The great strength of
is in Kempadoo'sability to palpably show the reader an unfamiliar place and people, embroiled in the familiar struggles of life.
About the Author
was born in Sussex in 1966 of Guyanese parents and brought up in Guyana from the age of five.She is of mixed Indian, African, Scottish and Amerindian descent. She lived briefly in Europe in her late teens beforereturning to the Caribbean where she has lived ever since, in St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and currently inGrenada. In 1985, she began working in costume design and manufacturing for Carnival, started a commercial textiledesign business, and freelanced in computer graphics. She began writing in 1997 producing
a semi-autobiographical account of a rural coming of age.
is Kempadoo's second novel. In addition to her writing she does voluntary social work with a home for some of Grenada's disadvantaged teenagers.