From Publishers Weekly
From the lush and fertile Caribbean soil springs this collection of island fabulism, a jumble of genres including magical realism, ghost stories, myth and fables, and speculative/science fiction. The mix of well-known contemporary authors (Jamaica Kincaid, Kamau Brathwaite), distinguished writers from an earlier wave of Caribbean fiction (Wilson Harris, Antonio Benitez-Rojo) and many newcomers results in a rich and varied volume. Two slavery-based ghost stories stand out as the most powerful. The somber, affirming "Spurn Babylon," by Tobias S. Buckell, centers on an ancient slave ship sucked from the ocean's bottom by a hurricane and deposited on a St. Thomas waterfront. As the islanders restore the vessel, they are lured by a mysterious force to create a new history. Roger McTair's bloodcurdling "Just a Lark" draws on the 1865 Morant Bay slave rebellion in Jamaica. During the 1950s, when Jamaica is striving for independence from England, a group of college-age boys try to raise from the dead one of the island's cruelest plantation owners, killed during that rebellion. Also enchanting is Marcia Douglas's pitch-perfect "What the Periwinkle Remember," as an elderly woman reminiscing in a nursing home tells a poignant story of what happened the night she met up with the fabled rolling calf ghost. Robert Antoni's "My Grandmother's Tale of the Buried Treasure and How She Defeated the King of Chacachacari and the Entire American Army with Her Venus-Flytraps" is a hilariously ribald tall tale. Though the collection would have benefited from entries from Edwidge Danticat and Patrick Chamoiseau, readers interested in this region's deep-rooted literature will find a fine representation here. The book should also gain some readers from the SF/fantasy market, given its subject matter and Hopkinson's strong reputation in the SF field. (Oct.)
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"She treats spirit-calling the way other science fiction writers treat nanotechnology or virtual reality . . ." -- Gerald Jonas, The New York Times Book Review, on Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring
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