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The Wizard Swami

Written by Chris Searle for Morning Star on no date provided

Three recent works by Guyanese writers show the southernmost end of this Leeds-based publishers’ Caribbean achievement.

Cyril Dabydeen’s The Wizard Swami is a tightly narrated, insightful story telling of the experiences of Devan, the son of an Indo-Guyanese rice farmer, who craves to return to Hindu fundamentalism. His mind drifts toward an immersion in India. He visualises the stilted houses of his village 'moving, walking away as if they would leave the coastland forever and head towards the sea' and the subcontinent of his own history.

As Devan becomes embroiled with the aspiring Indian middle classes, their minds fixed on status and racehorse-owning, his dreams collapse to disillusionment and he returns to his family with a straighter mind and a much more material view of the world.

Dabydeen is a fine storyteller, his crisp, unwasted language an apt vehicle for this deftly humorous morality tale.

This is a review of The Wizard Swami

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