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Written by Anne Jordan for Spare Rib on no date provided

Everyone likes a success story and on the face of it Timepiece’s theme is just that. A Black woman from a rural background cheats destiny, achieves the status of reporter on a city newspaper; ‘the working class making good’ myth is fulfilled.

However, this is not a novel to be taken at face value for its joy lies in the fact that it works on so many different levels. Set in pre-independence Guyana the subtleties and tensions of life are not far from the surface as the author questions the notions of political as well as individual dependence and independence.

Differences in rural and urban values are elevated to discussion of the black cultural and intellectual diaspora, in particular the Black middle class which finds itself impotent and groundless, constricted by a past not of its own making and the contradictions of neo-colonialism, the latter being the key to much Black on Black racial hatred and violence.

The circularity of the novel mirrors the circularity of time - the more things change, the more they stay the same.

This is a review of Timepiece

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