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Sunlight on Sweet Water

Authors: Beryl Gilroy

Published by Peepal Tree Press

ISBN: 9780948833649

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Beryl Gilroy transports the reader back to the Guyanese village of her childhood over sixty years ago to meet such characters as Mr Dewsbury the Dog Doctor, Mama Darlin' the village midwife and Mr Cumberbatch the Chief Mourner. It was a time when "children did not have open access to the world of adults and childhood had not yet disappeared", and perhaps for this reason, the men and women who pass through these stories have a mystery and singularity which are as unforgettable for the reader as they were for the child.

Beryl Gilroy brings back to life a whole, rich Afro-Guyanese village community, where there were old people who had been slaves as children and Africa was not forgotten.

"Beryl Gilroy is an artist. She wields her pen the way an artist wields a paintbrush. A few firm lines, a few quick strokes, a touch of color here, a splash of color there, precise shading elsewhere, and presto! A portrait in miniature. Gilroy’s vignettes in her collection entitled Sunlight on Sweet Water, do indeed dance like sunlight on the sweet water of the Caribbean or sunlight reflected from Guiana’s numerous waterways. They are pithy portraits of persons, places, objects, and events which allow the Caribbean reader to revel in nostalgia and permit the non-Caribbean a peek into that part of the region that is not dressed up to lure tourists. These short pieces reveal the heart and soul of the area and remind the world that the Caribbean, travel brochures to the contrary, is not just a playground for the idle and not-so-idle rich. The Caribbean is home to those persons who have traveled out, and to those who have remained to keep the hearth burning and the heart alive and well."
Phyllis Briggs-Emanuel, The Caribbean Writer

Beryl Gilroy came to London over fifty years ago from Guyana. She wrote six novels, two autobiographical books and was a pioneering teacher and psychotherapist. Sadly, she died in 2000 at the age of 76.
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