A Brief Conversion and Other Stories

A Brief Conversion and Other Stories

by Earl Lovelace
     
 

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A rich, entertaining collection by Trinidad's foremost storyteller. In these vivid stories, Earl Lovelace paints a compassionate, often humorous portrait of everyday life in Trinidad. Ordinary people like Victory the barber, Shoemaker Arnold, Miss Ross (once the most sought-after woman in Cunaripo), and Blues and Joebell who are eager to see new lands, are invested

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Overview

A rich, entertaining collection by Trinidad's foremost storyteller. In these vivid stories, Earl Lovelace paints a compassionate, often humorous portrait of everyday life in Trinidad. Ordinary people like Victory the barber, Shoemaker Arnold, Miss Ross (once the most sought-after woman in Cunaripo), and Blues and Joebell who are eager to see new lands, are invested with a special magic that draws the reader into a rhythmical, colorful, and changing world.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Set in Trinidad, these stories deal with the dreams of the common people, like going to America, or winning the lottery, or getting married; younger characters in particular want to grow up to make something special of their lives. The characters' varied speech pulls the reader into their lives in a close, personal way, and their stories are told with compassion, wit, and lyricism. The result is a delightful collection by a consummate storyteller who is Trinidad's best contemporary writer, winner of the 1997 Commonwealth Writers Prize for his acclaimed novel, Salt. Highly recommended for all readers who would like a taste of life in Trinidad.-Lisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Lovelace (The Dragon Can’t Dance, 1998, etc.) describes with wry sympathy people in his native Trinidad who dream big, often fail, but live to the full. Thirteen stories introduce characters who often appear more than once as they try either to avoid or embrace changes in their lives. In the title piece, a tale of family love, narrator Travey recalls how his hair was cut short every third Sunday at his mother Pearl’s insistence by an itinerant barber, and how that embarrassing haircut was responsible for his own rite of passage, when the shy scholarly boy successfully fought a school bully who teased Travey about his hair. "The Fire Eater’s Journey," "The Coward," and "The Fire Eater’s Return" chart the bumpy course of Blues, a villager with little schooling and no trade skills but a tender heart, who dreams of taking his fire-eating and strongman show to England. Blues watches a black power rally and, affected by their talk of injustice, is tempted to join, but doesn’t; he tells a journalist friend that he’s frightened he might kill somebody. In the third story, the same journalist recounts lending Blues the money he said he needed to save his life, but the loan was not enough to prevent his gruesome end. In other notable tales: a middle-aged woman realizes how much she has sacrificed by serving the local community ("Call Me ‘Miss Ross’ for Now"); a man who sees "too much hell in Trinidad" tries and fails to immigrate to the US, but does so with class ("Joebell and America"); and a fearful woman’s husband realizes it’s better for his peace of mind to replace the bicycle pumps that thieves keep stealing than to succumb to fear like hers ("George and the Bicycle Pump"). Quiet stories,filled with the vivid sounds and sights of village life, that resonate with empathy and perception.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892552719
Publisher:
Persea Books
Publication date:
08/15/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.50(d)

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