Edited by Bill Schwarz. Published 2008. ISBN 9781900039918
Trinidad, historically located at the crossroads of the Americas, has produced an incomparable national literature fashioning literary genres that have informed the Caribbean region as a whole. One of the greatest contemporary Trinidadian writers is Earl Lovelace whose novelistic performative epics combine the rhythms of steelband and calypso with the narrative complexity of Faulkner. Lovelace was an early enthusiast for Black Power and remains an indefatigable critic of the inequalities bequeathed by the post-Independence state. Embracing an aesthetic which seeks out the darkness of the nation – the traces of Africa, the passions of the black dispossessed, the liturgies of the Shouter churches – he strives to imagine a society which might at last break free from its colonial past, dramatizing the political and psychic struggles of the poor for selfhood. This is the first published volume to assess Lovelace’s fiction and also his larger role in Caribbean letters.