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Black Dogs and the Colour Yellow

Beneath the surface of these warm and welcoming stories of ordinary people living their lives, lie unsettling yellow undercurrents of loneliness, grief, disrespect and injustice, obeah potions to trick and tie, a beguiling mermaid and ever-present black dogs.


Christine Barrow
Fiction, Short Stories, Ebook and print
Date published
19 Jul 2018

Listen carefully: a world within a world echoes in these short stories from Christine Barrow. Here, the unmuffled pulse of Barbados beats. Barrow brings us scenes of family squabbles, bitterly unhappy housewives, superstitious salt-of-the-earth grandmothers, disillusioned scholars burning with subterranean desire, alongside young men brined and buttressed by the sea. Each story skillfully unmasks the lie of an ordinary life, or an ordinary island: these characters wrestle with the ghosts of the Panama Canal; they grow up motherless and rudderless, reaching across the Atlantic towards England, their navel strings planted deep in St. Lucy and Bridgetown.

Barrow artfully arrests miniature details -- a too-sharp crochet hook; a glinting pearl pendant; sea glass that sparkles in sunlight -- and from these fragments and slivers, she assembles potent realities. Her prose confronts the weight of plantocracy and its embedded privilege, in stories that show how Barbadian history seeps into the rum, rebellion and rhythm of contemporary life.

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Christine Barrow

Christine Barrow was born in the UK, and lived in Barbados for nearly fifty years where she worked as an academic in Caribbean Social Development at the University of the West Indies. Since retiring she has concentrated on writing short fiction, and has recently returned to live in the UK (Brighton).

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