The Sleepers of Roraima & The Age of Rainmakers
Published by Peepal Tree Press
In 1970 and 1971, Wilson Harris published two short story collections that explored the myths, fables and fragments of history of the Amerindian peoples of Guyana and the Caribbean. These are brought together in the current volume.
In the absence of reliable history, and in the face of the stereotypes attached to these people (such as stoicism or a propensity for laughter), Harris makes no attempt to write conventional fictional reconstructions of an ethnographic kind, but subjects the fragments of tribal lore to imaginative revision.
His stories work towards the discovery of what is “original” in the sense of primordial in these narratives, in discovering such common patterns as the loss of innocence, the connections between sacrifice and transcendence, or even the shared identities of cannibal and Eucharistic consumption.