Thursday, July 17, 2014

Amazon Book Reviews: Caribbean Authors — Pauline Melville

Pauline Melville (born 1948) is a Guyanese-born writer and actress of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry, who is currently based in London, England. Among awards she has received for her writing are the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award, and the Guyana Prize for Literature. Read more:

This is a review for The Ventriloquist's Tale by Pauline Melville - Pauline Melville’s first novel is set in Guyana, the only English speaking country in South America, famous for its rum, gold, lush rainforest and rich folklore. From the garden city of Georgetown to the endless savannahs of the Rupununi, her colorful tale weaves its way from past to present, mixing illicit relationships of various sorts with religion, politics and Kanaima, the black magic of vengeance. While some of the stories of incest, adultery, and the sinful urges of a Catholic priest may make some readers squirm, Melville’s storytelling weaves a magical web drawing it all together, and although some of the narrative is in Creolese (the Guyanese vernacular) it should be quite easy for non-Guyanese to follow along. Read more:

  This is a review for The Migration of Ghosts by Pauline Melville - Pauline Melville is the most exuberant of fatalists. In her second collection, The Migration of Ghosts, she moves between the civilized and the visceral, her tales phantasmagoric and hyperreal. In the first story, "The President's Exile," a brutal, petty, and very dead South American politician is assailed by his own sense of fraudulence as he relives scenes from his rise to power. President Hercules had always prided himself on his grasp of reality, "and it was this that made his present position so disturbing. He was not sure exactly what the reality was." Another more rambunctious tale is set in London, on the day of the Notting Hill Carnival. Six months earlier, Mrs. da Silva's husband-to-be went off for some rice but decamped to Marion, Ohio, instead. Now this sizable heroine, who has never missed a carnival--and whose "shimmying is like an earthquake in motion"--is on the road to renewal and, with luck, romance. Moving among several participants, Melville paints the day's explosive, jolly mayhem, creating nothing less than life's rich--and hilarious--pageant. Mrs. da Silva's son, for instance, suddenly has to head for the hospital, still dressed as "a muscular devil with stubby horns, fork, a black-and-red torso and painted legs stuck with tufts of goat hair." Needless to say, his getup is to have a lasting effect: "Two hours later, a tiny infant, fifteen minutes old, opens his eyes briefly in the delivery room, looks up from his father's arms and knows that life is going to be a nightmare." Read more:

This is a review for Shape-Shifter by Pauline Melville - “Notably sharp, funny original, part Caribbean magic, part London grime, written in a slippery, chameleon language that is a frequent delight' SALMAN RUSHDIE 'An exceptionally talented writer of prose fiction - Melville's descriptive powers are especially acute' Times Literary Supplement 'With immense verve and skill she shows how the English language has been taken over and transformed by those people whose ancestors were forced to speak it. A very impressive and enjoyable first book.” — Sean French, New Statesman & Society. Read more:

Pauline Melville - Frank Collymore Lit. Endowment Awards XVI, Pt 1

No comments:

Post a Comment