Angel covers the turbulent years during which Grenada both found and lost itself, from 1951, when workers revolted against the power of the white owners of the sugar and cocoa estates, to 1983 when the US invasion put an end to a bold social experiment that turned violently in on itself. At the heart of the story is Doodsie, and her fiery daughter, Angel, product of both her mother’s vernacular wisdom, and a university education which exposes her to the ideas of Black Power and radical decolonisation then sweeping the Caribbean.
Merle Collins
ISBN number
Fiction, Novel
Country setting
Publication date
30 Jul 2011

When the Leader of the 1951 revolt becomes corrupt and authoritarian, both Doodsie and Angel welcome his overthrow by the radical Horizon movement. But mother and daughter take different positions when the popular Chief and the ideological vanguardists of the movement start to fall out. Doodsie knows instinctively where she stands, but Angel is altogether more conflicted about the rights and wrongs of the situation.

Angel richly inhabits the language and life of Grenadian working people, and moves seamlessly between the warmth and tensions of family life and the conflicts that tear a movement apart, provoke fratricide and allow an outrageous breach of sovereignty. As Doodsie says to her fowls, ‘If youall would stay togedder, the chicken-hawk won come down an do nutting! Stupes!’

In this new edition of Angel, first published to great acclaim in 1987, Merle Collins seizes the opportunity to revise and expand the last part of the novel, not to arrive at different conclusions, but to look again at episodes that at the time of the novel’s first writing proved too raw to be handled to her satisfaction.

Merle Collins is Grenadian. She is the author of two novels, a collection of short stories and two previous collections of poetry. She teaches Caribbean literature at the University of Maryland.

Merle Collins photo copyright Merissa Collins

Merle Collins

Merle Collins was born in Aruba to Grenadian parents who returned to Grenada soon after her birth. During the period of the Grenada Revolution, she served as a coordinator for research on Latin America and the Caribbean for the Government of Grenada. She left Grenada in 1983. The author of three novels, a collection of short stories and three collections of poetry, she has recently retired from teaching Caribbean Literature at the University of Maryland.
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