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The Counting House

Authors: David Dabydeen

Published by Peepal Tree Press

ISBN: 9781845230159

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Set in the early nineteenth century The Counting House follows the lives of Rohini and Vidia, a young married couple struggling for survival in a small, caste-ridden Indian village who are seduced by the recruiter’s talk of easy work and plentiful land if they sign up as indentured labourers to go to British Guiana. There, however, they discover a harsh fate as ‘bound coolies’ in a country barely emerging from the savage brutalities of slavery. Having abandoned their families and a country that seems increasingly like a paradise, they must come to terms with their problematic encounters with an Afro-Guyanese population hostile to immigrant labour, with rebels such as Kampta who has made an early abandonment of Indian village culture, and confront the truths of their uprooted condition.

“Excellent... Presented with poetic precision, this novel succeeds as both a compelling story and a beautifully sustained piece of writing.”
Sean Coughlan, The Times.

“Beautifully written... Dabydeen’s grace, as a poet turned novelist, is to give his characters’ imaginations and inner lives voices in prose... This is a marvelous novel”
Michele Roberts, Independent on Sunday.

David Dabydeen was born in Guyana. He has published six acclaimed novels and three collections of poetry. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.
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