For the contemporary Trinidadians, the letters raise troubling questions about the nature of the national psyche, the absence of social consensus and the extent to which the history of that period still shapes the present. Is Clara a 'worthless white bitch - no different from any of them men who was screwing their slave women' or a sensible woman taking charge of her life and looking for companionship? This is a comic, painful and moving novel. Its presentation of the cruelties, violence and affections of everyday relations under slavery raise questions not only about the nature of Caribbean societies, but the nature of history and its interpretation.
Novelist and poet Kevyn Arthur was born in Barbados in 1942. He has worked as a journalist and as a philosophy lecturer, and currently lives in Virginia.