Stick No Bills
Elizabeth Walcott Hackshaw’s careful and elegant prose has an economy and reticence that leaves you realising, as an afterthought, just how much you have been told, and how far you have been led into powerfully felt emotions.
Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw
ISBN number
Fiction, Short Stories
Country setting
Trinidad and Tobago
Publication date
29 Oct 2020

In the opening story, sharply observed details of a walk through a St Lucian coastal town to an ageing uncle’s house, chance encounters that trigger memories, a cell-phone call from home in Trinidad, the way an incident – like refusing a lift on the way to the house – becomes part of the enlivening narrative of the day, all cover with the myriad details of pulsing life what is really a story about mourning the death of the character’s mother. In this, and a sequence of stories that chart the playful delights of childhood family holidays with uncles, aunts and cousins and the break-up of those connections through deaths and the passage of time, there is a fine balance between recording the feelings of desolation and the pleasures of reconstructing the joys of the past through art and memory. 

As well as the stories written as “I” and “she”, Stick No Bills confirms Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw’s lethal talent for inventing characters – like the journalist who has been pursuing a famous writer at a literary conference in Haiti, or the would-be writer who is finding a workshop less than rewarding – who have only a partial awareness of their ability to deceive themselves, or see the painful humour of their situations. 
The collection, through its organisation of individual stories into an artfully constructed whole, offers a richly consoling passage through griefs of various kinds towards a sense of continuance and human resilience.


Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw

Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw was born in Trinidad and is Professor of French Literature and Creative Writing at the University of the West Indies.
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