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The Silence of Islands

Delia Mohammed gives Mr. Ni Win two bags for safe keeping. In them he finds her story of escape from the suffocations of her father and Caribbean island life into the nightmarish world of an illegal immigrant in America. Abandoned at customs by her lover, Trinidad, who turns out to be not at all what he seems, Delia is forced to fend for herself.

£8.99

Author(s)
N.D. Williams
ISBN
9780948833465
Pages
196
Price
£8.99
Classification
Fiction, Novels
Setting
United States of America, Imaginary Caribbean
Date published
1 Mar 1994

Delia Mohammed gives Mr. Ni Win two bags for safe keeping. In them he finds her story of escape from the suffocations of her father and Caribbean island life into the nightmarish world of an illegal immigrant in America. Abandoned at customs by her lover, Trinidad, who turns out to be not at all what he seems, Delia is forced to fend for herself. She brings to the task both an acute intelligence and a naievety born of her greater familiarity with literature than with life. But if literature is no guide to the hazards of migrant life, it provides Delia with meaning and psychic protection, and the resonances, with King Lear, for instance, give the novel a wholly convincing depth.

When Delia fails to return for her bags, Mr Ni Win becomes the editor of her story. As editor he is moved by her refusal to be a victim and her determination to recreate herself in a hazardous and unfamiliar environment. Stalled in his own life, he is re-energised by her intense involvement with life and with literature, and his reflections on his role create a further important dimension with relation to the connexions between writing and gender.

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N.D. Williams

N.D. Williams was born in Guyana in 1942. He went to Jamaica as a research student to study at Mona in the late 1960s and was very much involved in the student/youth uprising of the Rodney affair in 1968. He writes of being powerfully influenced by the radical, nativist currents in Jamaican culture - reggae and yard theatre - of this period. He had stories published in Jamaica Journal and Savacou and in the anthologies, One People’s Grief (1983) and Best West Indian Stories.

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