Dear Death

Written by Chris Searle for Morning Star on

Another narrative achievement in miniature is Sasenarine Persaud’s Dear Death. This first published work adds to that particular genre of writing - the novel of childhood - in which Caribbean novelists have shown a brilliance. Dalip looks back to his earliest years. He remembers the British military invasion of British Guyana in 1953, when the government of Cheddi Jagan - now the president - was imprisoned and 'white soldiers' walked the Georgetown streets 'like creatures who were different and to be feared.'

Within a hundred moving pages, Dalip remembers the series of deaths in his family, culminating with the suicide of his mother, which affect and change his life. Striving to harden himself against these losses, he fails. 'He looked at the ground, at the pebbles on the road. He saw the pebbles change shape. He knew tears were in his eyes. He tried to hold them back.' This simplicity of expression, the application of concrete words to the deepest emotions, characterises Persaud’s considerable writing skill.