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Now, After

These are stories that repay close attention. Nimblett is a writer who listens for the background notes, who knows “people not easy, not even the people who look like you”, who knows “you would get fool if you believe simple is easy, or simple not important”. Whether set in rural Trinidad or urban New York, these stories will enhance Anton Nimblett’s reputation as one of the most generous and humane of observers of human life, male or female, gay or straight.

Author(s)
Anton Nimblett
ISBN
9781845234423
Pages
Price
Classification
Fiction, Short Stories
Setting
Date published
1 Aug 2019

“Reader, my ‘library’ is not what it sounds”, says the columnist Raul Butler-Singh, writing a piece in the Trinidad Guardian in 2077 to argue that making heterosexuality illegal “may be attended with some inconvenience”. Like his character’s borrowing from J. Swift, Anton Nimblett both raids his library and tampers artfully with its sound.  In “Spouter Inn”, he reimagines the classic opening of Moby Dick (where Ishmael shares a bed with Queequeg and has the best night’s sleep ever) and imagines the tattoed harpoonist’s backstory that Melville never wrote. In “Something Promised”, Nimblett makes the ultimately odious Mr. Slime in George Lamming’s classic In the Castle of My Skin into quite a different kind of person, a gentle gay man who reflects, “Nobody never ask, What it is that make Mr Slime happy, eh?” In “Perseverence Village”, David Das shares much of the outward circumstance of V.S. Naipaul’s Mr Biswas – except that his most profound experience is a gay sexual encounter in his teens. But Nimblett does not only revisit the absences of past fiction; a wide range of characters are caught in the midst of their missions for self-knowledge, such as Anglican Joyce who wonders how much she has actually chosen her path away from her Spiritual Baptist roots, or Errol who discovers that “If a man pays close enough attention, he finds there is a place, one place, where he is most himself” – which for Errol is his taxi. 

These are stories that repay close attention. Nimblett is a writer who listens for the background notes, who knows “people not easy, not even the people who look like you”, who knows “you would get fool if you believe simple is easy, or simple not important”. Whether set in rural Trinidad or urban New York, these stories will enhance Anton Nimblett’s reputation as one of the most generous and humane of observers of human life, male or female, gay or straight.

 

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Anton Nimblett

Anton Nimblett is a Trinidadian living and writing in Brooklyn.

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