Chinese Women
Pairing Caribbean wounds with the grievances of political Islam, this intriguing novel begins as a sad story of unrequited love on a Guyanese sugar estate that descends into the obsessive world of stalking and the temptations of Jihad.
Jan Lowe Shinebourne
ISBN number
Fiction, Novel
Country setting
United Kingdom
Publication date
01 Nov 2010

Told through the eyes of Albert Aziz, a Guyanese Indian Muslim, the story opens with his boyhood memory of falling from a tree and being badly injured, after which he develops a compelling attraction to a young Chinese girl, Alice Wong, who lives on the same sugar estate. Now, years later, Aziz is a highly paid engineer in the Canadian nuclear industry. Although he has a new and prosperous life, he still nurtures racial resentments about the way he was treated as a child and has become a supporter of radical Islam. He also begins to fixate again on Alice and tracks her down. He finds that she is divorced and living in England and asks her to marry him. Though Aziz is telling the story, it is clear that Alice’s apprehension is slowly mounting as she fears the consequences of what might happen if she turns him down.

Jan Lowe Shinebourne was born in Guyana and now lives in Sussex, U.K. She has published four novels and a collection of short stories.


Jan Lowe Shinebourne

Jan Lowe Shinebourne was born in Berbice, Guyana, and educated at Berbice High School and the University of Guyana. She comes from the same area of Guyana as her near contemporaries, Cyril Dabydeen and Arnold Itwaru. After school she was a reporter in the city, Georgetown, and contributed to the literary magazine, ‘Expression’. She began writing in the mid 1960s and in 1974 she was a prize-winner in the National History and Arts Council Literary Competition. 
In 1987, she was also awarded with the Guyana Prize for Literature, in the Best First Book of Fiction category. Shinebourne was the first woman to have won the prize. In an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, Shinebourne commented, “what I was honoured by was the fact that I have won the prize and [been] recognized by my own country. That was the greatest honour”.
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