Russ' Caribbean Book Titles from Peepal Tree Press

April 1, 2003


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Below are short listings for Peepal Tree's titles by women authors.

If you would like more information on particular titles, just ask!

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Campbell, Hazel, Singerman

August 1991, £5.99, 0-948833-44-0, 120 pages

These magical realist short stories deal with black identity, gender

relations and the connections between slavery and contemporary society.

Flanagan, Brenda, You Alone are Dancing

October 1990, £5.99,  0-948833-33-5, 201 pages

Even within the solidarity of a rural Afro-Caribbean village, a young

woman learns that she can rely only on herself.

Gilroy, Beryl, Gather the Faces

July 1996, £5.95, 0-948833-88-2, 120 pages

At 27, Marvella Payne has resigned herself to growing old and single

with her family, but her aunts have other ideas and find her a penfriend

from her native Guyana. A charming and witty love story.

Gilroy, Beryl, In Praise of Love and Children

July 1996, £6.95, 0-948833-89-0, 153 pages

Melda Hayley finds both comfort and pain in her Guyanese past when the

stresses of fostering the damaged children of the first generation of

black settlers in Britain become too great.

Gilroy, Beryl, Inkle and Yarico

July 1996, £6.95, 0-948833-98-X, 160 pages

Thomas Inkle, a shipwrecked 18th century adventurer, is rescued by

Yarico, a Carib woman who takes him as her husband. But when they are

both taken to Barbados his betrayal of her is total.

Gilroy, Beryl, Sunlight on Sweet Water

May 1994, £5.95, 0-948833-64-5, 139 pages

These charming stories depict a 1930s Afro-Guyanese village with its own

distinctive identity, where Africa remains a part of everyday life.

Gilroy, Beryl, Stedman and Joanna: A Love in Bondage

September 1998, £5.99, 1-900715-20-1, 216 pages (to be published)

A re-reading and re-visioning of John Stedman's 18th century account of

his marriage to Joanna, a slave in Surinam, this is a moving portrayal

of human relationships in their social and historical context.

Goulbourne, Jean, Excavation

July 1997, £5.99, 1-900715-11-2, 98 pages

When a party of students and their professor begin an archeological

excavation on the site of an old slave estate in Jamaica, the relics of

the past provoke confrontations no-one has bargained for.

Goulbourne, Jean, Womansong

September 1998, £5.99, 1-900715-03-1, 56 pages (to be published)

With both pungency and humour, these poems articulate the grievances,

hopes and unquenchable spirit of Black women in Jamaica and the


Harris, Denise, Web of Secrets

May 1996, £6.95, 0-948833-87-4, pages

Through whispered conversations, fantasy and folklore, Denise Harris

explores divisions in a Guyanese family and the nation, and the healing

power of truth.

Henfrey, June, Coming Home and other stories

December 1994, £5.95, 0-948833-67-X, 118 pages

In settings ranging from slave times in Barbados to contemporary

Britain, these are strong and moving portrayals of women attempting to

definr themselves in situations where power is determined by race

and gender.

Jin, Meiling, Song of the Boatwoman

November 1996, £6.95, 0-948833-86-6, 144 pages

With lyrical imagination, painful realism and wicked humour these

stories explore the lives of Chinese women at points of crisis, change

and growth in China, London, Guyana, California and Malaysia.

maxwell, marina ama omowale, Chopstix in Mauby

October 1996, £6.95, 0-948833-96-3, 219 pages

A magical realist novel about 'the birth of woman time' and a woman's

journey through the Orisha chapelles and the 1970 uprising to self-

relisation and choice.

Persaud, Lakshmi, Butterfly in the Wind

1990, reprinted May 1996, £5.99, 0-948833-36-X, 208 pages

A sensitive account of the passage from childhood to to womanhood which

shows both the richness and limits of Trinidadian Indian society.

Persaud, Lakshmi, Sastra

December 1993, £6.99, 0-948833-71-8, 273 pages

Sastra focuses on the choices a young Hindu woman in Trinidad has to

make between her own desires and obedience to tradition.

Persaud, Lakshmi, FOR THE LOVE OF MY NAME

November 1999, £8.99/ US$15.30 / CAN$21.60, 1-900715-42-2 , 335 pages

Torn between confession and self-justification, President for Life,

Robert Augustus Devonish writes his memoirs as his country falls apart

around him; Kamilia prepares for a workers' last stand against his

regime; Vasu sets off to investigate the rumours of untold horrors in a

commune deep in the interior; and Marguerite Devonish has to decide

between loyalty to family or country in bringing to an end her brother's


Through these and many other unforgettable characters Lakshmi Persaud

tells of the last days of the Caribbean island of Maya before it sinks

beneath the sea.

This challenging novel profoundly dramatises the consequences of ethnic

prejudices in a culture of masks which gives licence to individuals to

abandon moral responsibility for their actions. Its echoes resonate

across the killing fields of Bosnia, Kosova, East Timor - or wherever

state power gives free rein to the most primal impulses of kith and kin.

Told through multiple voices, whose tones range through the lyrical, the

direct and unvarnished, the conversational and the polished, For the

Love of My Name weaves a striking tapestry of hatreds and loves, duty

and the degradation of consciousness, despairs and hopes. Above all the

bright threads of human resilience glint in the weave.

Shewcharan, Narmala, Tomorrow is Another Day

March 1994, £6.95, 0-948833-47-5, 238 pages

Set in a decaying dictatorship, this novel explores the human costs of

social fragmentation and the wider social impact of individual choice.

Shinebourne, Jan, The Last English Plantation

October 1988, £5.99, 0-948833-13-0, 182 pages

As colonial rule comes to an end, the struggle for a new world order is

witnessed by an eleven year old girl involved in her own battles with

her mother.

Shinebourne, Jan, Timepiece

October 1986, £5.99, 0-948833-03-3, 186 pages

An important novel exploring the many levels of a young woman's fight

for independence and integrity in a male-dominated Guyanese world.


Evaristo, Bernardine, Island of Abraham

November 1994, £5.95, 0-948833-60-2, 64 pages

Writing as a Black British woman, Bernardine Evaristo reaches out to

embrace a vision of the world not defined by Europe or patriarchy.

Manley, Rachel, A Light Left On

June 1993, £5.99, 0-948833-55-6, 56 pages

Although they deal with loss and grief, these poems evoke a rich

Caribbean natural world in which life is always present.

Pollard, Velma, Shame Trees Don't Grow Here

February 1993, £5.99, 0-948833-48-3, 72 pages

Shame Trees explores the necessity for moral values in the context of a

deeply politicised awareness of Caribbean history.

Books for children

Jagan, Janet, Anastasia the Anteater

January 1997, £4.50, 1-900715-09-0, 64 pages

An enterprising alligator, a freedom-loving waterdog and two brave girls

lost in the Guyanese bush are just a few of the characters whose

exploits children will eagerly devour.

Jagan, Janet, Patricia the Baby Manatee

December 1995, £4.50, 0-948833-92-0, 64 pages

These Guyanese tales of brave, mischevious and kindly animals and

children use humour and mystery to provide a strong framework of

positive human values which children will instinctively appreciate and


Jagan, Janet, When Grandpa Cheddi was a Boy - second issue,

December 1994, reprint March 1997, £4.50, 0-948833-75-0, 64 pages

This collection of stories will delight children all over the world and

give them a sense of the magical beauty of Guyana's landscape and the

humanity of its peoples.

Forthcoming titles

Forthcoming Poetry

Das, Mahadai, Bones - new edition,

May 1998, £5.99, 1-900715-21-X, 56 pages

Now in its second printing, writing from feminist and Indo-Caribbean

perspectives, Mahadai Das's poetry reveals a daring metaphorical


Escoffery, Gloria, Mother Jackson Murders the Moon

March 1998, 1-900715-24-4, 60 pages Offer price: £5, usually £5.99

Whether celebrating domestic happiness or satirising contemporary

Jamaican life, whether speaking through a vividly drawn cast of

characters or in the persona of their creator, Miss G.E., Gloria

Escoffery writes with a visionary intensity all her own.


Hannah Bannister

Peepal Tree Press

17 King's Avenue

Leeds LS6 1QS

United Kindom

tel 44 (0)113 2451703

fax 44 (0)113 2459616

Publishers of the Best in New Caribbean Writing

return to the top of Russ' Caribbean Book Titles from Peepal Tree Press

return to Russ' Caribbean Literature

Below are short listings for Peepal Tree's literary, cultural and

historical titles. If you would like more information on particular titles,

just ask!

We can accept payment by cheque or international money order in UK

sterling, US dollars or Canadian dollars. The prices shown are in UK

sterling, please ask for current prices in other currencies.

Send enquiries /orders to

Benjamin, Joel, They Came in Ships

August 1997, £12.95, 0-948833-94-7, 320 pages

The essays, stories and poetry of Indian Guyanese writers from 1890-1997

gathered here provide a fascinating insight into the transformation of

an ancient culture in the New World.

Bhana, Ed. Surendra, Essays on Indentured Indians in Natal

December 1991, £7.95, 0-948833-21-1, 235 pages

These essays break new ground in the study of Indian indentured labour,

the role of labour migration in economic development and the history of

Natal. The collection includes North-Coombes' pioneering comparison of

the role of indentured labour in the sugar industries of Natal and

Mauritius, Swan's study of worker accommodation and resistance, Beall's

investigation of the double oppression of women, and Surendra and

Arvinkumar Bhana's exploration of the very high rates of suicide amongst

indentured workers. Accounts of individual stories in several essays

ensure that the workers are never seen as faceless victims, and

Mesthrie's study of language contact and Brain's essay on religion give

further reminders that these migrants brought not only their labour but

their culture.

The editor, Surendra Bhana, formerly Professor of History at the

University of Durban-Westville, teaches at the University of Kansas,


Grant (ed.), Kevin, The Art of David Dabydeen

May 1997, £12.99, 1-900715-10-4, 232 pages

In this volume, leading scholars from Europe, North America and the

Caribbean discuss David Dabydeen's poetry and fiction in the context of

the politics and culture of Britain and the Caribbean. Don't forget the

contents list in books blurbs

Mesthrie, Rajend, A Lexicon of South African Indian English

March 1992, £7.95, 0-948833-10-6, 148 pages

A scholarly but entertaining study of words, phrases and idioms which

reflects the diverse social and linguistic currents within which the

South African community has developed. It focuses on the effects

of language contact in borrowings, grammatical interference and semantic

shifts as speakers of Indic languages came into contact with speakers of

English, Afrikaans, Fanagalo and African languages.

This lexicon provides an invaluable source of comparison with Indian

English, the Creoles of the Caribbean, and with the linguistic

experience of other overseas South Asian communities.

Dr. Mesthrie teaches linguistics at the University of Cape Town.

Parekh, Bikhu, The Concept of Fundamentalism

April 1992, £4.99, 0-948833-56-4, 48 pages

Professor Parekh brings rigour and clarity to the discussion of the

concept of religious fundamentalism and cautions against the

unrestricted use of this concept to describe a wide range of

contemporary religious phenomena. He argues that lumping fundamentalism

together with religious conservatism, revivalism and ultra-orthdoxy

fails to distinguish its particular modern character.

Roopnaraine, Rupert, Web of October

October 1988, £4.99, 0-948833-18-1, 72 pages

This original and meditative text combines an intensive critical reading

of 'You Are involved', by Martin Carter, and a series of 'poems of

October' written within the spaces of the essay.

Seecharan, Clem, India and the Shaping of the Indo-Guyanese Imagination

December 1993, £5.95, 0-948833-61-0, 98 pages

A study of the impact of 19th century Indology and the rise of Indian

nationalism on the attitudes and cultural identity of the emerging Indo-

Guyanese elite in the early 20th century.

When the first East Indian intellectuals emerged in British Guiana at

the end of the nineteenth century, most of their compatriots were still

working as indentured or free labourers on the colony's sugar estates.

Indians were conscious that they were looked down on as barbarous

'coolies' by other sections of the population. In response, the

intellectual elite constructed a view of India, drawn from the writings

of Max Muller and Tagore, which provided the Indo-Guyanese community

with a sustaining sense of self-esteem. Clem Seecharan argues, though,

that whilst the vision of 'Mother India' stimulated the community's

cultural revival and hastened its entry into Guyanese political life, it

also constrained the ways in which it thought about its role in Guyana.

Shepherd, Verene, Transients to Settlers

April 1994, £12.95, 0-948833-32-7, 281 pages

In this valuable study of one of the smaller Indian communities in the

Caribbean, Dr. Shepherd explores the contrary tendencies towards

cultural absorption and cultural autonomy which can be seen in the

history of the group. The role of population size and density, the

availability of economic 'niches', the activity of missionaries and

educators and the attitudes of the wider society are examined as

contexts within which the Indo-Jamaican community worked out its

destiny. Chapters on indenture, patterns of rural and urban settlement,

education, economic activity and political participation provide

comparative standpoints for looking at variations within the total Indo-

Caribbean experience.

Verene Shepherd lectures at the University of the West Indies in

Jamaica. She is co-editor of Caribbean Slave Society and Economy: A

Student Reader.

Forthcoming Literary, Cultural and Historical Studies

Mahabir, Kumar, Indian in an Afro-Caribbean World

August 1998, £12.99, 0-948833-11-4, pages

Ranging widely over folk-culture, literature and contemporary mass

media, these essays explore the challenges of cultural self-definition

facing Indo-Caribbeans in the region.


Hannah Bannister

Peepal Tree Press

17 King's Avenue

Leeds LS6 1QS

United Kindom

tel 44 (0)113 2451703

fax 44 (0)113 2459616

Publishers of the Best in New Caribbean Writing

return to the top of Russ' Caribbean Book Titles from Peepal Tree Press

return to Russ' Caribbean Literature

. more of Russ' Caribbean Book Titles from Peepal Tree Press

From: Hannah Bannister

Subject: Peepal Tree New Fiction Catalogue

Date: May 6, 1998 12:48 PM

Welcome to Peepal Tree Press' first ever e-mail catalogue. If nothing

has gone wrong, you are receiving this e-mail because you asked for

details of Peepal Tree's books. If we have made an error, please let us

know. This mailing contains full details of all Peepal Tree's 1998 and

1997 fiction. In a couple of days we'll be sending you the new Poetry

and Literary, Cultural and Historical studies. We won't be sending you

the backlist automatically as it is very long -- in the region of thirty

pages! If you would like a backlist e-mail, do ask. Otherwise you could

request a copy of the printed catalogue which will be available shortly,

if you would like one, please e-mail us with your postal address and

we'll get a copy to you as soon as we can.

To order:

We can accept payment by cheque or international money order in UK

sterling, US dollars or Canadian dollars. The prices shown are in UK

sterling, there is a 'currency converter' below. Postage per book is

65p for UK, $2.50 for USA and $3.50 for Canada.

Currency Conversion Table

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3.99   $6.80   $9.60

4.50   $7.70   $10.80

4.99   $8.50   $12.00

5.95   $10.20  $15.00

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14.99  $25.50  $36.00

Send your order by e-mail, and your payment by snail-mail to:

Peepal Tree Press, 17, King's Avenue, Leeds, LS6 1QS.

The moment we receive your payment, we'll send your books.

School and college orders will receive a 10% discount on list prices,

booksellers a 35% discount, though this may be increased depending on

quantities ordered. Books are supplied to Schools and Colleges with a

thirty day invoice. Bookseller credit terms are negotiable.

Send enquiries/orders to


Settle into a comfy chair in your house, pass the time on a plane, in a

waiting room or relax on the beach with a good book and you enter its

world, and the outside world and its pressures are left behind. Through

this personal and individual act of opening a book and sharing its

vision, you support a huge infrastructure of writers, publishers,

libraries and bookshops. Without you, books are simply words on a page;

they need you to open them and give them life! Without you, publishers

like ourselves, dedicated to books which make a difference, could not


Need help choosing?

Use our knowledge! Contact Peepal Tree for suggestions, whether for your

new course reading list, for information on particular themes and issues

explored in our books, advice on what to choose for yourself as a

relaxing/exciting/mind-expanding read or as a  gift for your

mother/uncle/grandchild/love story reader/thriller-lover -- and well do

our best to help.

*** David Dabydeen


October 1998, £7.99  1-900715-30-9, 200 pages

New Caribbean edition

A nameless Guyanese engineer arrives in the village of Dunsmere to help

shore up a crumbling stretch of the Kent coast. He comes expecting to

find an England which is ordered and cultivated -- everything he dreams

of as a fitting place of escape from the 'brawling creole ways' of the

muddy coastland of Guyana. What he finds is a village of seething feuds

and a project undermined by corruption and grandiose delusions, part of

a society in an advanced state of post-imperial decay. Despairing of

ever belonging to this place, he is provoked into re-evaluating his

African Guyanese background in more positive ways, particularly by his

curious landlady, Mrs Rutherford, who abuses him as a 'Black man with an

English soul'.

Disappearance speaks both to England and the Caribbean in its searching

dissection of the colonial encounter and its continuing reverberations

in the psyche of both worlds.

On its first publication, Disappearance was praised as 'A mournful

comedy... a perky beauty softening its stark messages' (Sunday Times);

as 'Searching... in its clarity of style and vision' (The Scotsman) and

by the Times Literary Supplement as having 'Poise, compassion and

humour-- provocative and accomplished.'

David Dabydeen is the author of Slave Song, Coolie Odyssey and Turner

(poetry) and The Intended and The Counting House.

*** David Dabydeen

The Intended

October 1998, £7.99  1-900715-31-7, 200 pages

'But you must tek education... pass plenty exam and get good job.' It is

Auntie Clarice's advice that the young narrator remembers when, brought

from Guyana at the age of ten, he is abandoned by his father in a South

London slum. But this way forward brings deep problems of identity. In

Britain everyone who is not white is black. How does this equate to his

experiences as an Indo-Guyanese growing up in a society divided between

Africans and Indians?

How is he to come to terms with his divided heritage of language: the

order and clarity of the written English to which he aspires, but which

denies his selfhood, and the apparently unstructured Guyanese creole in

which his richest memories are inscribed?

 'Vivid, perceptive, funny and moving' --Penelope Lively

[it]'turns a thematic Heart of Darkness around to illumine a groping

pilgrimage -- Indian and Rastafarian -- issuing from distant colonies'

--Wilson Harris

*** Kwame Dawes


November 1998, £6.99 1-900715-19-8, 180 pages

When his father dies in suspicious circumstances, Ferron Morgan's trauma

is increased by the conflict within his family and his father's friends

over whether the death is the result of medical negligence or a

political assassination. Ferron has lived in awe of his father's radical

commitments but is forced to admit that, with the 1980's resurgence of

the political Right in the Caribbean, his father had lost faith, and was

already dead to everything that had meaning for him'.

Ferron's response to the death is further complicated by guilt,

particularly over his recent failure to protect his fiance, Dolores,

from a brutal rape. He begins, though, to investigate the direction of

his life with great intensity, in particular to confront his instinct to

keep moving on and running from trouble.

This is a sharply focused portrayal of contemporary Jamaica, in which

the private grief and trauma condenses a whole society's scarcely

understood sense of temporariness and dislocation. For both Ferron and

the society there has been the loss of the corpse of one's origins' and

the novel points to the need to find a way back before there can be a

movement forward.

This vision is reflected in the structure of the novel with its cycles

of flashback set in a non-linear, non-continuous narrative, and its

movement from conventional realism, with its emphasis on the givenness

of time, to the magical metaphors of the novel's dreaming in/conclusion.

Kwame Dawes was born in Ghana in 1962, and moved to Jamaica in 1971

where he remained until 1987. Now Professor of English at the University

of South Carolina at Columbia, he has published six collections of

poetry, Resisting the Anomie (Goose Lane Editions), Progeny of Air,

Prophets, Requiem, Jacko Jacobus, and Shook Foil, all published by

Peepal Tree. This is his first novel.

*** Beryl Gilroy

Stedman and Joanna: A Love in Bondage

September 1998, £5.99  1-900715-20-1, 216 pages

In 1764, John Stedman, a Scottish soldier, arrived in Surinam to assist

the Dutch who were putting down a slave rebellion with great brutality.

During his stay in Surinam, Stedman fell in love with and married

Joanna, a slave. All this is recorded in Stedman's own journal.

Beryl Gilroy's novel stays faithfully within the facts in the journal

but re-reads/rewrites the story in ways which bring new psychological

and historical insights to it. She brings her fictive imagination to

bear on the processes which led Stedman, a witness to the bestial

tortures inflicted by the Dutch on captured rebels, to make his leap

across the divide of race, not merely to bed Joanna, willingly or

unwillingly, but to marry her. Joanna's story is brought further into

the foreground and the novel explores aspects of the relationship about

which Stedman is silent.

Stedman and Joanna joins Beryl Gilroy's Inkle and Yarico as a moving

portrayal of the interplay between the psychological core of human

relationships and their social and historical context.

*** Syed Manzurul Islam

The Mapmakers of Spitalfields

January 1998, £5.99  1-900715-08-2, 144 pages.

These stories, set in London's Banglatown and Bangladesh, bring

startlingly fresh insights to the experiences of exile and settlement.

Written between realism and fantasy, acerbic humour and delicate grace,

they explore the lives of exiles and settlers, traders and holy men,

transvestite actors and the leather-jacketed, pool-playing youths who

defended Brick Lane from skinhead incursion.

In the title story, Islam makes dazzling use of the metaphor of map-

making as Brothero-Man, the 'invisible surveyor' galloping the veins of

your city' becomes the collective consciousness of all the settlers

inscribing their realities on the parts of Britain they are claiming as

their own.

Syed Manzural Islam was born in 1953 in what was still East Pakistan. He

is currently a lecturer in English studies. He is the author of The

Ethics of Travel: From Marco Polo to Kafka (MUP).

*** Lino Leito

The Gift of the Holy Cross

July 1998, £6.99  0-948833-15-7, 260 pages.

Leito's epic novel deals with the mingling of religion and politics as

the people of Goa wake from centuries of Portuguese rule only to find

their struggle inherited by the same classes who had aided and abetted

their colonial rulers. They find, too, that their distinctive culture is

in danger of being swallowed up by their incorporation into India.

Focusing on the tragic figure of Mario Jaques, a village leader isolated

by his own confusions and swept away by social forces beyond individual

control, Leito writes passionately of a popular movement betrayed. If

the old world is marked by injustice, ignorance and oppression, the poor

have at least a sense of community. In the new world there is only a

ruthless competitiveness in which the worst rise to the top.

Leito was born in Goa, resident in Uganda for some years and now lives

in Canada. He is the author of three collections of short stories.

New in 1997

*** Kevyn Alan Arthur

The View from Belmont

August 1997, £7.99  1-900715-02-3, 230 pages.

The View from Belmont tells two stories: one through the letters of a

young English widow who takes over her husband's cocoa estate in

Trinidad in 1823; the other through the responses of a group of

contemporary Trinidadians who are reading the letters at the time of the

1990 Muslimeen black power revolt.

Clara's letters present the insights of a perceptive, independent-minded

and generous-spirited young woman, who is nevertheless wholly committed

to the institution of slavery. The letters give a sharp sense of

Trinidadian society in the process of formation, but at their heart is

an account of Clara's relationships with those with whom she shares her

life on the estate, in particular Kano, a 'loyal' slave who she takes to

her bed.

For the contemporary Trinidadians, the letters raise troubling questions

about the nature of the national psyche, the absence of social consensus

and the extent to which the history of that period still shapes the

present. This is a comic, painful and moving novel. Its presentation of

the cruelties, violence and affections of everyday relations under

slavery raise questions not only about the nature of Caribbean

societies, but the nature of history and its interpretation.

*** Jean Goulbourne


July 1997, £5.99  1-900715-11-2, 98 pages.

When a group of Jamaican students and their lecturers begin an

archaeological dig on the old estate of Plantation Plains, each has

different expectations. For Professor Milton, recently returned home

after years abroad, the dig is to be the crowning achievement of a

distinguished career. For Kwame, a lecturer from Ghana, it is the

opportunity to use his knowledge to help identify African survivals in

the New World. For rastafarian Akete, the dig is going to be part of his

mission to bring a sense of their African heritage to his fellow

sufferers in the ghetto, and for Carla the excavations on the site of

the Big House and the slave quarters are potent reminders that her own

ancestry is both black and white. For the two young Americans who join

them, the dig is the first chance to put their archaeological skills

into practice in an exotic new environment.

Each of the diverse group of people brought together by the dig is

changed by the experience, the result both of their encounters with the

relics of history, and the personal encounters within the group.

This is a dramatic and poetically written exploration of the interaction

of past and present, and of the issues of age, race and gender which the

excavation provokes. Jean Goulbourne is Jamaican.

*** Carl Jackson

Nor the Battle to the Strong

August 1997, £7.99  0-948833-97-1, 352 pages

From Imfe who is taken in slavery from Africa, Zero and Quamina who live

under slavery but never submit to being slaves, Bam and Jane who live to

see Emancipation but discover that they have been given little but the

freedom to starve, Tom and Louise who endure the injustices of the

colonial years, to Rocky who takes part in the popular uprisings for

freedom and democracy in the 1930s, Nor the Battle to the Strong is an

unrivalled portrayal of the lives of five generations of a family in


Nor the Battle to the Strong is a powerful and imaginative work of grief

and hope whose universality is pointed to in the title's reference to

Ecclesiastes: 'The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the

strong,'for time and chance happeneth to them all'

It takes the reader through horrors as elemental as those of the Greek

tragedy, through the dark humour of those who endured generations of

human injustice, and all that flood, drought, hurricane and disease

could inflict, to arrive at a hard-won but liberating vision of the

human capacity for freedom, love and forgiveness. Jackson sings a

redemption song which transports the reader out of darkness into light.

Carl Jackson was born in Barbados where he lives and works. He is the

author of East Wind in Paradise, a political thriller.

*** Geoffrey Philp

Uncle Obadiah and the Alien

February 1997, £5.99  1-900715-01-5, 160 pages

The lives of contemporary Jamaicans both at home and in exile in Miami

are portrayed with humour, pathos and deep understanding. Like the best

roots reggae albums, this collection mixes a multitude of voices and

attitudes with inventiveness and art. Righteous anger, ragamuffin

provocations and insightful observation are present through a variety of

forms: social realism, the Jamaican tall tale and even science fiction.

The social environments of contemporary Jamaica and Miami are sharply

drawn in these stories, but it is the inwardness and humanity of the

characterisation which makes them truly memorable.

'If Dickens were reincarnated as a Jamaican Rastaman, he would write

stories as hilarious and humane as these. Uncle Obadiah and the other

stories collected here announce Geoffrey Philp as a direct descendent of

Bob Marley: poet, philosophizer, spokesperson for our next new world.'

--Robert Antoni, author of Blessed is the Fruit and Divina Trace,

Winner of the 1992 Commonwealth Writers Prize

*** N.D. Williams

Prash and Ras

November 1997, £6.99  1-900715-00-7, 192 pages

Disparate worlds collide in Williams' two novellas. In 'My Planet of

Ras' a young German woman joins a Rastafarian commune in Jamaica. Under

the guidance of  Selassie, reader and healer with herbs, Ikael, artist-

painter, and Kilmanjaro, master drummer, and under the healing influence

of 'the herb  of nations' she learns to marvel, and to understand the

true nature of community ('You and I talking, one and one -- that is

community! Hardest thing to build these days. Not enough empty

reflecting silence, like mortar, to build with)'. Williams' portrayal of

the rootedness, the inner calm and visionary enlightment of the group is

movingly convincing, not least because the novella realistically conveys

the group's vulnerability, temptations and the costs of their denials.

In their rejection of materialism and competition, they indeed have to

live as if they are on another planet, constantly threatened by the

surrounding Babylon.

'What Happening There, Prash', is a contrary and equally convincing

portrayal of  the magnetic pull of North America and its offer of the

possibilities of individual recognition, competitive edge and material

success. Prash and his wife Sookmoon abandon the decaying 'socialist'

republic of Guyana for New York and for Sookmoon, at least, there is the

chance, eagerly seized, to remake her life as a liberated woman. But

when Prash gets mixed up in some serious drugs business, he discovers

that the freedom of the market has its price.


Hannah Bannister

Peepal Tree Press

17 King's Avenue

Leeds LS6 1QS

United Kindom

tel 44 (0) 113 2451703

fax 44 (0) 113 2459616

Publishers of the Best in New Caribbean Writing

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Welcome to Part 2 of Peepal Tree Press' first ever e-mail catalogue. If

nothing has gone wrong, you are receiving this e-mail beacause you asked

for details of Peepal Tree's books. If we have made an error, please let

us know. This mailing contains full details of all Peepal Tree's 1998

and 1997 poetry. In a couple of days we'll be sending you the new

Literary, Cultural and Historical studies list. We won't be sending you

the backlist automatically as it is very long -- in the region of thirty

pages! If you would like a backlist e-mail, do ask. Otherwise you could

request a copy of the printed catalogue which will be available shortly.

If you would like one, please e-mail us with your postal address and

we'll get a copy to you as soon as we can. Please note that books are

not available before the date of publication shown, though if you are

interested in a forthcoming title, let us know and we'll e-mail you when

it becomes available.

To order:

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sterling, US dollars or Canadian dollars. The prices shown are in UK

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The moment we receive your payment, we'll send your books.

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booksellers a 35% discount, though this may be increased depending on

quantities ordered. Books are supplied to Schools and Colleges with a

thirty day invoice. Bookseller credit terms are negotiable.

Send enquiries/orders to


The breadth of Peepal Trees poetry list is unrivalled. In it you will

find significant shapers of the Caribbean poetry tradition such as E.M.

Roach whose collected poems represent the most important Caribbean

poetry before that of Walcott and Brathwaite; the work of established

poets such as Cyril Dabydeen, Howard Fergus, Kendel Hippolyte, Anthony

Kellman, Marc Matthews, Ian McDonald, Anthony McNeill and Ralph

Thompson; the important womens voices of Mahadai Das, Rachel Manley and

Velma Pollard, who are joined this year by Marcia Douglas (an

outstanding first collection), Gloria Escoffery, Jean Goulbourne and

Jennifer Rahim; this year sees also new work from Miami-based Jamaican

Geoffrey Philp and the highly respected academic and poet Stewart Brown.

Look out for the 1997 publication Shook Foil by Kwame Dawes, which along

with the new anthology of reggae poetry, Wheel and Come Again, and

Dawes' critical manifesto Natural Mysticism make a hugely significant

addition to Caribbean poetry.

But do discover what lies beyond anthologies! Without individual

collections they could not exist, and without readers and buyers neither

can these collections!

Need help choosing?

Use our knowledge! Contact Peepal Tree for suggestions, whether for your

new course reading list, for information on use of language, particular

themes and issues explored by the poets, advice on what to choose to

suit your mood -- to shake you up or calm you down, or as a gift for a

friend/your mother/uncle/grandparents -- and well do our best to help.

**edited by Kwame Dawes

Wheel and Come Again: An anthology of reggae poetry

April 1998, £8.99  1-900715-13-9, 216 pages

This is an anthology to delight both lovers of reggae and lovers of

poetry which sings light as a feather, heavy as lead over the bedrock of

drum and bass. If in the past Caribbean poetry seemed split between the

English literary tradition and the oral performance of dub poetry, Wheel

and Come Again brings together work which combines reggae's emotional

immediacy, prophetic vision, fire and brimstone protest and sensuous

eroticism with all the traditional resources of poetry: verbal

inventiveness, richness of metaphor and craft in the handling of

patterns of rhythm, sound and poetic structure.

Its range is as wide as reggae itself. There are poems celebrating, and

sometimes mourning, the lives and art of such creative geniuses as Don

Drummond, Count Ossie, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Bob Marley, Big Youth, Bunny

Wailer, Winston Rodney, Patra and Garnett Silk. There are poems of

apocalyptic vision, fantasy, humour and storytelling; poems about

history, culture, politics, religion, art, human relationships and love;

poems which employ standard Caribbean English, poems written in Jamaican

nation language and many poems which move easily between the two.

From its birth in the ghettos of Kingston, reggae has become an

international musical language, and whilst Jamaicans are inevitably well

represented in this anthology, Wheel and Come Again reflects reggae's

universal appeal with contributors from the USA, Canada, Britain, Guyana

and St. Lucia. What all have found in reggae is an art with a rich

aesthetic which, like the poetry they aspire to write, speaks to the

body, mind and spirit, which compels a state of heightened expectancy

with its combination of pattern and surprise:

'Counting out the unspoken pulse

then wheel and come again'

** Marcia Douglas

Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom

November 1998, £6.99  1-900715-28-7, 80 pages

The reader is taken on a journey of light, from the rural flicker of the

firefly, the half-moonlight of the limbo of exile, to the sense of

connectedness and arrival suggested by the image of the eight-pointed

star. It is also a journey towards voice, beginning with an image of the

voicelessness of the country people who witness the coming of lights to

Cocoa Bottom, but have no-one amongst them to record the event. It

explores the moment of leaving Jamaica when 'there is something I must

say before I go', but which is never said, and the loss of language

threatened in the image of the American Accent Programme tape cassettes

offered for sale on the flight to the USA. The collection ends with two

contrary images of the possession of language. There is the 'Voice

Lesson From the Unleashed Woman's Unabridged Dictionary' which urges:

'follow the instinct of your tongue/ and say it your way' and the final

poem which describes her father's baptism and birth into the gift of

tongues when social language cannot express his glimpse of


Each poem has its own poignant individuality, but there is also a

powerful sense of architecture which runs through the collection.

Marcia Douglas was born in England and grew up in Jamaica. She currently

has a fellowship at the State University of New York.

** Gloria Escoffery

Mother Jackson Murders the Moon

March 1998, £5.99  1-900715-24-4, 60 pages

A vivid cast of characters throng these poems. There is Mother Jackson,

the ole hige who lays out her thoughts like a mortician, who is both

creator and destroyer. There are the players of the Rootsman Theatre of

the Absurd, such as fallen politician Julian Lapith, who knows too well

the power of incantation; Dub Deacon Lapith with his Sankey soul; poor

Bedward Lapith with his millenarian dreams of flight; Busha Godhead self

swoopsing down to intervene in human affairs and -- the heroine of the

cast -- Aliveyah, to whom nature speaks direct by the nudge of a beak.

And there is, of course, their creator, Miss G.E., who shares with us

the 'rockstone passion of a Jamaican country bumpkin born and nurtured

in Arcadia'. Whether in her celebrations of domestic happiness in a

house where even the chairs talk, or in her satires on Jamaican life,

Gloria Escoffery writes with a visionary intensity and fantastical

imagination which is all her own. And though she feels it is no joke to

be three people -- old woman, young girl and child -- who don't quite

understand one another, Miss G.E. cannot but write her love letter to

the world.

Gloria Escoffery was born in 1923. She has worked as a teacher, written

extensively on Jamaican art and is one of her country's finest painters.

** Howard Fergus

Lara Rains & Colonial Rites

March 1998, £6.95  0-948833-95-5, 88 pages

Howard Fergus' poems explore the nature of living on Montserrat, a 'two-

be-three island/hard like rock', vulnerable to the forces of nature

(Hurricane Hugo and the erupting Soufriere) and still 'this British

corridor'. He writes honestly and observantly about these contingencies,

finding in them metaphors for experiences which are universal. Nature's

force strips life to its bare essentials ('Soufriere opened a new

bible/in her pulpit in the hills/ to teach us the arithmetic of days')

and reveals creation and destruction as one. ('We celebrate Hugo child

of God/ he killed and made alive for a season'). In a small island

society individual lives take on an enhanced significance: they are its

one true resource and the sequence of obituary poems bring home with

especial force how irreplaceable they are.

Beyond Montserrat, Fergus looks for a wider Caribbean unity, but finds

it only in cricket (and crime). Cricket, indeed, provides a major focus

for his sense of the ironies of Caribbean history: that through a white-

flannelled colonial rite with its roots in an imperial sense of

Englishness, the West Indies has found its only true political framework

and the means, explored in the sequence of poems celebrating Brian

Lara's feats of 1994, to overturn symbolically the centuries of

enslavement and colonialism.

As Stewart Brown writes in the Longman Caribbean New Voices 1, Fergus is

a poet of real stature.

Howard Fergus was born in Montserrat. He studied at the University

College of the West Indies and the Universities of Bristol and

Manchester. He has been Chief Education Officer and Speaker of the

Legislative Council of Montserrat. He is currently resident tutor at the

Extra-Mural Department of the UWI based there. He has written

extensively on Montserrat and is the author of three previous

collections of poetry: Cotton Rhymes (1976) Green Innocence (1978) and

Stop the Carnival (1980)

** Jean Goulbourne


September 1998, £5.99, 1-900715-03-1, 64 pages

In Womansong, Jean Goulbourne articulates the grief, hopes and

unquenchable spirit of black women in the Caribbean. She writes with the

directness of the reggae lyric, with both pungency and humour, and with

an aphoristic economy which has the art of saying more with less.

Her poems encompass the lives of women old and young; middle-class and

sufferers; women whose lives are enclosed, who want liberation from the

'station of motherhood, wifehood and frustration', and women who through

their resistance, creativity and assertion of selfhood have made space

for themselves. The celebration of such lives stands as a beacon of hope

in the depiction of Jamaican society in which rape, poverty and

abandonment are too frequently women's lot.

** Anthony McNeill

Chinese Lanterns from the Blue Child

March 1998, £5.99  1-900715-18-X, 64 pages

Somebody is hanging:

a logwood tree

laden with blossoms

in a deep wood.

The body stirs left

in the wind;

If the wind could send

its miracle breath

back to that person,

I tell you it would.

Love is Earth's mission

despite the massed dead.

On the night of the hanging

the Autumn moon bled.

Anthony McNeill was without doubt amongst the finest contemporary

Caribbean poets, whose previous collections, Reel from 'The Life Movie'

and Credences at the Altar of Cloud, were hailed as works of immense

originality. Chinese Lanterns from the Blue Child won the 1995 Jamaican

National Literary Award. Completed shortly before his death, it is a

farewell to the world which moves like a bird in flight between moments

of painful regret, wry humour and a sense of closure.

Anthony McNeill's word-lanterns will continue to flame in the darkness

long beyond his death. He was born in Jamaica in 1941. He died in 1996.

** Sasenarine Persaud

The Wintering Kundalini

October 1998, £5.99 0-948833-79-3, 72 pages

Persaud enriches Caribbean poetry by bringing to it new dimensions of

imagery and philosophical tradition from his Indian ancestry. The

imagery of cobra, serpent and Kundalini from Tantric Yoga mesh with a

political and personal engagement with both Guyana and more recently

Canada. This is a meeting of a thoroughly modern sensibility with the

riches of an ancient tradition. Persaud is a poet who, in the words of

Howard Fergus in The Caribbean Writer, has to be taken seriously as an

'architect of the subconscious'.

Sasenarine Persaud is also the author of the collection Demerary

Telepathy, and two novels. The Ghost of Bellow's Man, and Dear Death,

both published by Peepal Tree.

** Geoffrey Philp

Hurricane Center

February 1998, £6.99  1-900715-23-6, 67 pages

El nino stirs clouds over the Pacific. Flashing tv screens urge a calm

that no one believes. The police beat a slouched body, crumpled like a

fist of kleenex. The news racks are crowded with stories of pestilence,

war and rumours of war. The children, once sepia-faced cherubim, mutate

to monsters that eat, eat, eat. You notice a change in your body's

conversation with itself, and in the garden the fire ants burrow into

the flesh of the fruit.

Geoffrey Philps's poems stare into the dark heart of a world where

hurricanes, both meteorological and metaphorical, threaten you to the

last cell. But the sense of dread also reveals what is most precious in

life, for the dark and accidental are put in the larger context of

season and human renewal, and Hurricane Center returns always to the

possibilities of redemption and joy.

In the voices of Jamaican prophets, Cuban exiles, exotic dancers,

drunks, race-track punters, canecutters, rastamen, middle-class

householders and screw-face ghetto sufferers, Geoffrey Philp writes

poetry which is both intimately human and cosmic in scale. On the

airwaves between Miami and Kingston, the rhythms of reggae and mambo

dance through these poems.

Geoffrey Philp was born in Jamaica. He now lives and works in Miami. His

publications include a poetry collection, Florida Bound and a collection

of short stories, Uncle Obadiah and the Alien.

** Jennifer Rahim

Between the Fence and the Forest

November 1998, £6.99  1-900715-27-9, 88 pages

Comparing herself to a douen, a mythical being from the Trinidadian

forests whose head and feet face in different directions, Jennifer

Rahim's poems explore states of uncertainty both as sources of

discomfort and of creative possibility. The poems explore a Trinidad

finely balanced between the forces of rapid urbanisation and the

constantly encroaching green chaos of tropical bush, whose people, as

the descendants of slaves and indentured labourers, are acutely

resistant to any threat to clip their wings and fence them in, whose

turbulence regularly threatens a fragile social order. In her own life,

Rahim explores the contrary urges to a neat security and to an

unfettered sense of freedom and her attraction to the forest 'where

tallness is not the neighbour's fences/ and bigness is not the swollen

houses/ that swallow us all'. It is, though, a place where the

bushplanter 'seeing me grow branches/ draws out his cutting steel and

slashes my feet/ since girls can never become trees'

Jennifer Rahim was born and grew up in Trinidad. Her first collection of

poems, Mothers Are Not the Only Linguists was published in 1992. She

also writes short fiction and criticism. She currently lectures in

English at the University of West Indies in Jamaica.

** Ralph Thompson

Moving On

February 1998, £6.99  1-900715-17-1, 104 pages

The poems in Moving On recreate moments of change, loss and epiphany.

There are vivid glimpses of a prewar Jamaican childhood -- of sexual

discovery under a billiard table and of the rude ingratitude of a goat

saved from dissection in the school biology lab. The long sequence,

'Goodbye Aristotle, So Long America', explores the years of study at a

Jesuit university in America and the making both of a lifetime's values

and of the sense of irony which has made it possible to live with them.

Other poems reflect on the experience of ageing, of increasing

vulnerability, but also of an increased appreciation for what sustains

human relationships through time.

Jamaica is present in these poems as a place of aching natural beauty,

but whose violent human energies can only be viewed with an ambivalent

love and fear, where:

In the city's bursting funeral parlours

the corpses glow at night, nimbus of blue

acetylene burning the darkness under the roof,

lighting the windows... crunch of bone and sinew

as a foot curls into a cloven hoof.

Louis Simpson described Ralph Thompson's first collection, The Denting

of a Wave, as 'First rate poetry... intelligent and gifted with a sense

of humour' and other reviewers praised his warmth, exact observation,

craft and vivid storytelling.

Ralph Thompson is a Jamaican who, as well as being a painter and a poet,

is the Senior Executive of one of his country's biggest companies.

New in 1997

** Cyril Dabydeen

Discussing Columbus

February 1997, £6.95  0-948833-57-2, 96 pages

For Cyril Dabydeen, the historical figure of Columbus is an

'illustration of an odd and idiosyncratic destiny at work'. In this

collection of poems, Dabydeen explores the personal confluences and

ironies of a history which brought his ancestors as labourers from India

to the Caribbean in an ironic inversion of Columbus' original mistake.

On 'a deserted but peopled land', Dabydeen explores experiences of

Canada and the Caribbean which simultaneously speak of a past of brutal

genocide and tyranny and a world of recreating newness, constantly

awaiting rediscovery, constantly evolving from the heterogeneous

convergencies which that voyage of 1492 began.

** Kwame Dawes

Shook Foil: a collection of reggae poetry

December 1997, £6.99  1-900715-14-7, 76 pages

When the guitars tickle a bedrock of drum and bass, when the girl a

shock out and a steady hand curve round her sweat-smooth waist, when the

smell of Charlie mingles with the chemicals of her hair and the groove

is of the sweetest friction -- how is a young man to keep his way pure?

Kwame Dawes' poetry rises to new heights in these psalms of confession

and celebrations of reggae's power to prophesy, to seek after

righteousness and seduce the body and mind. Here is poetry walking the

bassline, which darts sweetly around the rigid lick of the rhythm guitar

yet expresses all the sadness and alienation at the heart of reggae.

This, for Dawes, is the earth which 'never tells me my true home' and

where behind every chekeh of the guitar there is the ancestral memory of

the whip's crack.

Shook Foil dramatises the conflict between the purity of essences and

the taints of the actual, not least in the poems which focus on Bob

Marley's life. Here is the rhygin, word-weaving prophet and the

philanderer with the desperate hunger for yard pumpum, the revealer of

truths and the buffalo soldier who has married yard with show biz


Above all there is the intense sadness of Marley's death, for how can

one live without the duppy conqueror's defiant wail in an island gone

dark for the passing of his song?

But for Shook Foil there is always the gospeller's hope that the dead

will rise from dub ruins and patch a new quilt of sound for the feet to

prance on. And when the high hat shimmering and the bass drum thumping,

what else to do but dance?

** Kendel Hippolyte


February 1997, £6.99  0-948833-93-9, 124 pages

The Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry described Kendel Hippolyte as

'perhaps the outstanding Caribbean poet of his generation'. Until now

his poetry has only been available in anthologies and slim collections

which have been little seen outside St. Lucia.

Birthright reveals him as a poet who combines acute intelligence and

passion, a barbed wit and lyrical tenderness.

He writes with satirical anger from the perspective of an island

marginalised by the international money markets in a prophetic voice

whose ancestry is Blake, Whitman and Lawrence, married to the

contemporary influences of reggae, rastafarian word-play and a dread


He writes, too, with an acute control of formal structures, of sound,

rhythm and rhyme -- there are sonnets and even a villanelle -- but like

'Bunny Wailer flailing Apollyon with a single song', his poetry has 'a

deepdown spiritual chanting rising upfull-I'.

Whilst acknowledging a debt of influence and admiration to his fellow

St. Lucian, Derek Walcott, Kendel Hippolyte's poetry has a direct force

which is in the best sense a corrective to Walcott's tendency to

romanticise the St Lucian landscape and people.

Kendel Hippolyte was born in St. Lucia in 1952 and has lived there all

his life. He is a dramatist and co-founder of the Lighthouse Theatre

Company, one of the Caribbean's most important theatre groups. Three of

his collections of poetry were published in St Lucia and his work has

been anthologised in The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse, West Indian

Poetry, Voiceprint, Crossing Water, Caribbean Poetry Now and the

Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry.


Hannah Bannister

Peepal Tree Press

17 King's Avenue

Leeds LS6 1QS

United Kindom

tel 44 (0) 113 2451703

fax 44 (0) 113 2459616

Publishers of the Best in New Caribbean Writing

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Hi from all at Peepal Tree,

Here's a 'Stop Press', we have another new poetry collection scheduled

for 1998:

** Stewart Brown


August 1999, £7.99/ US$13.60/ CAN$19.20

ISBN: 1-900715-32-5, 128 pages

Stewart Brown has been described as 'one of the most exciting and

original poets currently writing.'

Praised by Fred D'Aguiar for the 'peculiar chameleon-like power' of his

imagination, his 'capacity to belong anywhere and to any experience

without being compromised', Stewart Brown's poems encompass  Africa, the

Caribbean, Wales and England; to the sweep of imperial history and its

painful aftermath and to the intimacies of domestic life. He writes of

Africa and the Caribbean with a rare combination of sympathy, honesty

and inwardness, while never pretending to be other than an Englishman

abroad. He writes affectionately but without sentiment of 'ordinary'

English life from the perspective of one who has been elsewhere, in ways

which allow us to see it afresh.

But if these poems have a passionate concern with love, politics,

history and the natural world, they are no less concerned with the

shaping power of art, both as a subject and in the poems' own formation.

Elsewhere brings together, frequently in revised form, poems from

Brown's earlier much praised collections, Mekin Foolishness, Zinder and

Lugard's Bridge, and many new poems. 'Elmina', an extended and moving

meditation on an Englishman's sense of complicity in the history of the

slave trade, will undoubtedly further enhance his reputation.

After spells teaching in Jamaica, Nigeria, and Barbados Stewart Brown

has lectured at the Centre for West African Studies at the University of

Birmingham for the past ten years. He has edited several anthologies of

Caribbean writing and published many books and essays on aspects of West

Indian culture.

Best wishes

Hannah Bannister

Peepal Tree Press

17 King's Avenue

Leeds LS6 1QS

United Kindom

tel 44 (0) 113 2451703

fax 44 (0) 113 2459616

Publishers of the Best in New Caribbean Writing

return to the top of Russ' Caribbean Book Titles from Peepal Tree Press

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Welcome to Part 3 of Peepal Tree Press' first ever e-mail catalogue of

new Literary, Cultural and Historical Studies. 

Send enquiries/orders to



**eds. Joel Benjamin, Laxmi Kallicharan, Ian McDonald and Lloyd Searwar

They Came in Ships - an anthology of Indo-Guyanese Writing

February 1998, £12.95  0-948833-94-7, 320 pages

From 1838 until 1917, Indians arrived to work as indentured labourers in

Guyana. The majority never returned to India and today over 50% of the

Guyanese population is of Indian origin. This anthology of prose and

poetry shows how the Indians changed the character of Guyana and the

Caribbean and how, over 150 years of settlement, Indians became Indo-


Ranging from the earliest attempts at cultural self-definition in the

19th century, to the creative writing of the 1990s, this anthology

provides a fascinating insight into the transformation of an ancient

culture in the New World.

Brief introductory essays set historical contexts, and there is an

invaluable bibliography of Indo-Guyanese writing. This is the only

anthology of its kind.


Section 1: Early narrative images of the Indian presence in non-Indian


Section 2: The growth of self-awareness: the first definitions of an

           Indo-Guyanese identity from within the community (1890-1970)

Section 3: The beginnings of Guyanisation: Essays on Indo-Guyanese

           cultural forms

Section 4: An anthology of Indo-Guyanese prose: includes the writing of

           Cyril Dabydeen, Haris Khemraj, Peter Kempadoo, Rooplall Monar,

           Sasenarine Persaud, Sheik Sadeek, Jan Shinebourne and Narmala


Section 5: An anthology of Indo-Guyanese poetry: includes the work of

           J.W. Chinapen, Cyril Dabydeen, David Dabydeen, Mahadai Das,

           Arnold Itwaru, Rayman Mandal, Rooplall Monar,

           Sasenarine Persaud, Rajkumarie Singh, Kenneth Taharally,

           Shana Yardan and fifteen others.

Section 6: Bibliography of Indo-Guyanese Imaginative Writing 1890-1995

** Dale Bisnauth

The Settlement of Indians in Guyana 1890-1930

June 1998, £14.99 / US$25.50 / CAN$36 ISBN 1-900715-16-3, 260 pages

As Guyana struggles to overcome its legacy of ethnic hostility between

Indo and Afro-Guyanese, this is a timely and unbiased study of the

historical processes which led in part to these divisions.

It focuses on the crucial period when Indian indentured labourers became

a permanent part of Guyanese society. It explores both the inner

processes of Indian settlement and the beginnings of that community's

political involvement with the wider society and relationships with the


It charts how, in the process, Indian peasants were transformed into

industrialised wage labourers on the sugar estates, rice farmers and

urban professionals, and a distinctive Indo-Guyanese culture emerged. It

looks frankly at the ethnic considerations which shaped relationships

between the two groups.

In looking critically at the divide and rule policies of successive

colonial governments, and situating both Africans and Indians in a

common history of exploitation, Dale Bisnauth's study offers a clear and

insightful basis for contemporary understanding. A valuable

contribution to South Asian Diaspora studies, this book presents a

scholarly treatment of the role of ethnicity in a plural society and a

cogent discussion of the processes of settlement and cultural change.

Dr Bisnauth was secretary of the Caribbean Council of Churches and is

currently Minister of Education in the Government of Guyana.

** Kamau Brathwaite

The Love Axe:/l

December 1998, £12.99  0-948833-80-7, 240 pages

At once a manifesto for a revolutionary Caribbean aesthetics, a work of

detailed literary analysis and a scholarly documentation of a vital

period in Caribbean history, Love Axe/I is unique and indispensable. As

a work of literary and cultural history it deals not only with

significant texts, but with the wider artistic, popular and intellectual

movements which were part of the profound revolution in West Indian

post-colonial consciousness which is the book's subject. In addition to

major discussions of the work of Paule Marshall, Roger Mais, Derek

Walcott, George Lamming and Jean Rhys, there is, most valuably,

extensive coverage of the flowering of innovative writing published

during the later 1960s-1970s, but so much of which is out of print.

The Love Axe:/l was announced some time ago, but it has been delayed as

the author is compiling updated appendices which will be an

indispensible addition to this ground-breaking critical study. We

promise that The Love Axe:/l will be well worth the wait!

Kamau Brathwaite, as poet, historian and literary critic, is everywhere

recognised as one of the Caribbean's most distinguished authors.

**ed. Dr. Stewart Brown

All Are Involved: The Art of Martin Carter

April 2000, £14.99 / US$25.50 / CAN$36  1-900715-26-0, 413 pages

Postage Rates per copy STG£1.20 2nd class STG£4.77 airmail US$7.80 air

CAN$12 airmail -- sorry if these seem a bit steep, the book is a

satisfying 413 pages, and consequently rather heavy.

This critical anthology offers a long overdue evaluation

of the work of this major Caribbean poet and critic.

The Guyanese poet Martin Carter, 1927 - 1997, was

without question one of the major poets of the English

language in our time. In the Caribbean, Carter has long

been regarded as one of the great poets who chronicled

the journey from colonialism to independence, alongside

such figures as Aimé Césaire, Derek Walcott, Nicholas

Guillen and Kamau Brathwaite. While his earlier poems

have become classics of socialist literature, translated

into many languages, and are among the foundation stones

of Caribbean poetry, they have hardly been acknowledged

in more general accounts of poetry in English. It was

too easy for lazy critics and anthologists to dismiss

him as ‘merely’ a political poet, one who swore, as he

put it one poem, to use his shirt as 'a banner for the


In fact, looking at Carter’s work overall it is hard to

think of a contemporary poet writing in English who

showed more concern for craft, who measured his

utterance with greater care. His later work, while it

never lost its political edge, was more oblique and

cerebral than the overtly political poems of his youth.

It sits most comfortably alongside that of fellow South

American poets Valejo, Neruda and Paz. They are his

contemporaries in every sense; his work is of that

originality, stature and elemental force.

This book sets out to celebrate Martin Carter’s life and

work and to establish a context for reading his poetry.

Essays deal with the historical, political and literary

contexts of his writing, provide detailed readings of

his poetry and critical writings, and offer discussions

by younger Caribbean poets of his influence on their


There are biographical essays by Carter's contemporaries, interviews

with Carter and a detailed bibliography. Contributors include John

Agard, Kamau Brathwaite, Stewart Brown, David Dabydeen, Fred D'Aguiar,

Kwame Dawes, Michael Gilkes, Wilson Harris, Roy Heath, Kendel Hippolyte,

Louis James, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Eusi Kwayana, George Lamming, Ian

McDonald, Mark McWatt, Mervyn Morris, Grace Nichols, Gordon Rohlehr,

Andew Salkey and many others.

** Daryl Cumber Dance

New World Adams - second edition

October 1998, £12.99 (new edition) 1-900715-04-X, 340 pages

In these interviews, held in the early 1980s, with twenty-two of the

major writers of the English-speaking Caribbean, Daryl Dance brings

together what is much more than just a valuable source book for readers

of West Indian writing. The interviews are highly readable --by turns

probing, combative and reflective and always absorbing. Daryl Dance

brings to the interviews a rare breadth of knowledge and empathy with

the work of the writers interviewed and the openly avowed insights of an

African-American woman.

The writers interviewed include Michael Anthony, Louise Bennett, Jan

Carew, Martin Carter and Denis Williams, Austin Clarke, Wilson Harris,

John Hearne, C. L. R. James, Ismith Khan, George Lamming, Earl Lovelace,

Tony McNeil, Pam Mordecai and Velma Pollard, Mervyn Morris, Orlando

Patterson, Vic Reid, Dennis Scott, Sam Selvon, Michael Thelwell, Derek

Walcott and Sylvia Wynter.

Daryl Dance is Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University,


** Kwame Dawes

Natural Mysticism

April 1998, £12.99  1-900715-22-8, 216 pages

Kwame Dawes speaks for all those for whom reggae is a major part of

life. He describes how reggae has been central to his sense of selfhood,

his consciousness of place and society in Jamaica, his development as a

writer - and why the singer Ken Boothe should be inseparably connected

to his discovery of the erotic.

Natural Mysticism is also a work of acute cultural analysis. Dawes

argues that in the rise of roots reggae in the 1970s, Jamaica produced a

form which was both wholly of the region and universal in its concerns.

He contrasts this with the mainstream of Caribbean literature which,

whilst anticolonial in sentiment was frequently conservative and

colonial in form. Dawes finds in reggae's international appeal more than

just an encouraging example. In the work of artists such as Don

Drummond, Bob Marley, Winston Rodney and Lee 'Scratch' Perry, he finds a

complex aesthetic whose inner structure points in a genuinely

contemporary and postcolonial direction. He identifies this aesthetic as

being both original and eclectic, as feeling free to borrow, but

transforming what it takes in a subversive way. He sees it as embracing

both the traditional and the postmodern, the former in the complex

subordination of the lyric, melodic and rhythmic elements to the

collective whole, and the latter in the dubmaster's deconstructive play

with presences and absences. Above all, he shows that it is an aesthetic

which unites body, emotions and intellect and brings into a single focus

the political, the spiritual and the erotic.

In constructing this reggae aesthetic, Kwame Dawes both creates a

rationale for the development of his own writing and brings a new and

original critical method to the discussion of the work of other

contemporary Caribbean authors.

Natural Mysticism has the rare merit of combining rigorous theoretical

argument with a personal narrative which is often wickedly funny. Here

is a paradigm shifting work of Caribbean cultural & literary criticism

with the added bonus of conveying an infectious enthusiasm for reggae

which will drive readers back to their own collections or even to go out

and extend them!

** Mirza Sheikh I'tesamuddin

The Wonders of Vilayet - translated by Kaiser Haq

November 1998, £9.99  1-900715-15-5, 160 pages

In 1765, Mirza Sheikh I'tesamuddin, a Bengali munchi employed by the

East India Company, travelled on a mission to Britain to seek protection

for the Mogul Emperor Shah Alam II. The mission was aborted by the greed

and duplicity of Robert Clive, but it resulted in this remarkable

account of the Mirza's travels in Britain and Europe. Written in

Persian, 'Shigurf Nama-e-Vilayet' or 'Wonderful Tales about Europe' is

an entertaining, unique and culturally valuable document. The Mirza was

in no sense a colonial subject, and whilst he wrote frankly about what

he felt accounted for India's decline and Europe's contemporary

ascendance, he was a highly educated, culturally self-confident observer

with a sharp and quizzical curiosity about the alien cultures he

encountered. His accounts of visits to the theatre, the circus,

freakshows, the 'mardrassah of Oxford', Scotland, of the racial alarms

his presence sometimes provoked and of his impressions of British moral

codes (including the 'filthy habits of the firinghees') make for

fascinating reading.

Kaiser Haq's scholarly, modern translation is the first to appear in

English since the original 'abridged and flawed translation' which

appeared in 1827. The Wonders of Vilayet is an important document, a

salutary addition to Western accounts of the 'Otherness' of India,

orientalism in reverse.

** Marc Wadsworth

Comrade Sak

September 1998, £9.99  0-948833-77-7, 180 pages

There has been a recent revival of interest in the life of Shapurji

Saklatvala, the Black Communist MP who won the seat of Battersea North

in 1922. Comrade Sak charts Saklatvala's movement from privileged Parsi

beginnings in the Tata family to revolutionary communist. It examines

his quarrel with Gandhi over the goals and tactics of the Indian

independence movement and Saklatvala's not always easy relationship to

the Communist International. Above all, the study documents his role in

a radical phase of British Labour politics and the traditions of local

activism which made the Battersea North constituency such a congenial


Drawn from his speeches and letters, Saklatvala's passionate and radical

voice speaks clearly to our times when the mainstream left is in

retreat. His words and his life serve to remind us that the goals of

ending inequality and making possible human liberation are too important

to be consigned to historical memory.

What Marc Wadsworth brings to this study are the insights of an active

participant in the contemporary struggles to define a Black position

within the British Left. In exploring how Saklatvala negotiated the

roles of Indian anti-imperialist, Black MP and Communist, Wadsworth has

written an important study of Black Working Class history in the 1920s

and 1930s.

Marc Wadsworth has worked as a senior news reporter at Thames

Television, Chair of the NUJ's Black Members' Council and National

Secretary of the Anti-Racist Alliance. He currently works as a freelance

journalist and broadcaster.

** Matthew French Young

Guyana the Lost El Dorado: My fifty years in the Guyanese Wilds

April 1998, £12.99  1-900715-25-2, 304 pages

As diamond prospector, gold-panner, surveyor of the uncharted bush,

hunter and builder of roads, Matthew Young spent over fifty years

working in the wild forests and savannahs of his native Guyana.

He writes vividly of the beauties and hazards of that life, of marauding

jaguars, deadly labaria snakes dropping from the trees, piranhas that

can strip the flesh from a body in seconds and thirty foot anacondas

that can squeeze the life out of a man; of battling up river against

life-threatening rapids and thunderous waterfalls.

His is a story of resourcefulness and wonder, of a practical man who

never lost his sense of the forest's mystery, who learnt a profound

respect for the culture, knowledge and skills of the Amerindians of the


This is a fascinating social history from colonial times to the 1980s,

including Young's involvement with the aftermath of the tragic mass

suicide of over 900 followers of the American cult leader Jim Jones at

Jonestown in the Guyanese interior.

Guyana: The Lost El Dorado gives an engrossing account of one of the

last untouched tropical rainforests in the world and its teeming

wildlife. It is an indispensable guidebook for the intrepid armchair

traveller, gold prospector and diamond panner!

New in 1997

**ed. Kevin Grant

The Art of David Dabydeen

May 1997, £12.99  1-900715-10-4, 232 pages

David Dabydeen is from the younger generation of Caribbean writers

living in Britain. His work has been .highly praised for its originality

and imaginative depth. In this volume leading scholars from Europe,

North America and the Caribbean discuss his poetry and fiction in the

context of the politics and culture of Britain and the Caribbean.

These studies explore David Dabydeen's concern with the plurality of

Caribbean experience, with its African, Indian, Amerindian and European

roots; the dislocation of slavery and indenture; migration and the

consequent divisions in the Caribbean psyche.

In particular, these essays focus on Dabydeen's aesthetic practice as a

consciously post-colonial writer; his exploration of the contrasts

between rural creole and standard English and their different world

visions; the power of language to subvert accepted realities; his use of

multiple masks as ways of dealing with issues of identity and the use of

destabilizing techniques in the narrative strategies he employs.


Hannah Bannister

Peepal Tree Press

17 King's Avenue

Leeds LS6 1QS

United Kindom

tel 44 (0) 113 2451703

fax 44 (0) 113 2459616

Publishers of the Best in New Caribbean Writing

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Greetings, we have a new novel for you. This is E.A Markham's first

novel: Hugely entertaining, and as well crafted as you would expect from

a Professor of Creative Writing and a writer of Archie's pedigree.




Pewter Stapleton is drowning under a pile of marking. He teaches

creative writing at a university in Sheffield, a campus peopled with

malign cost-cutting accountants, baffled security staff and colleagues

cloning themselves.

Pewter is a brilliant comic creation, an endless lister of tasks which

are never quite completed, who is strung forever between seriousness and

send-up, a commitment to his writing and boundless cynicism about

writers and the arts industry.

From Pewter's desk and his marking, the novel radiates backwards and

forwards in time, to his childhood in the small volcanic Caribbean

island of St. Caesare and memories of his headmaster, the libidinous

Professeur Croissant and Horace his half-mad cousin, and to his

relationships with Carrington, a highly successful Caribbean writer

whose plays Pewter is editing, to Balham, a professional of the race

industry (where Pewter is a self-admitted slow learner in blackness) and

to Lee, the woman he loves, but who despairs of him as 'sporadic'.

As a novel about life and writing, factuality and invention rub

shoulders to hilarious effect as Pewter is incessantly driven to turn

his experiences, his friends and their experiences into works of drama

and fiction, maybe even you... Yet we note the awkward questions he asks

about the Academy...

Born in Montserrat, West Indies in 1939, E.A. Markham completed his

education in Britain, which has been his home since 1956. He has worked

in the theatre, in the media and is a literary editor. His publications

include collections of poems, short stories and a travel book.  He has

been writer-in-residence at the Universities of Humberside and Ulster,

has taught at the University of Newcastle and is now Professor of

Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University.


ISBN: 1-900715-29-5

Price: STG£7.99 / US$13.60 / CAN$19.20

Pages: 262

Date of Publication: October 1999

HENDREE'S CURE Scenes from Madrasi Life in a New World MOSES NAGAMOOTOO Madrasis in Guyana used to pour a drop of white rum in memory of their ancestors. Moses Nagamootoo's libation is, like the best high wine, an intoxicating mix of fire, sweetness and pungency. Blending fiction and documentary, he reanimates a world now mostly gone, that of the Madrasi fishermen, market-traders, rice farmers, Kali worshippers, cricketers, turfites and see-far practitioners who inhabited the Corentyne village of Whim in the 1950s and 60s. Though only a small percentage of the quarter million Indians who came to Guyana, the South Indian Madrasis, now much dispersed through emigration to North America, played an influential role in Guyanese life. The Kali-Mai churches they established, for instance, now draw devotees from all Guyanese ethnic groups. At the heart of the narrative are the stories of the entrepreneurial Naga, like pot-salt in everything, his wife Chunoo, resolute in her sense of community and justice, and Hendree, Naga's sidekick, an idler, brilliant drummer and would-be healer. In their lives are played out the polarities which gave Madrasi life its extraordinary dynamism: its spirituality and earthiness, its respect for goodness -- and delight in scampishness, its faithfulness to Madrasi culture and openness to the culture of others, particularly the Afro-Guyanese. What is to be savoured above all in this book is its language, particularly when we hear the Whim villagers and the pungent and elegant Creole through which they represented their world and maintained their place in it. Moses Nagamootoo was born in Whim Village. Since 1992 he has been a Member of the Guyanese Parliament and presently holds the portfolio of Minister of Information. Specifications ISBN: 1-900715-45-7 Price: STG£7.99 / US$13.60 / CAN$19.20 Pages: 148 pages Date of Publication: March 2001
PAYMENT: We can accept payment by cheque or international money order in UK sterling, US dollars or Canadian dollars. Add 15% to the total for postage, but if you order five or more books, postage is free! HOW TO ORDER E-mail me and tell me: a) How many copies b) The postal address to which we should send the book(s) c) Which currency you would like to pay in We'll let you know how much your order will cost, and tell you what to do next. We hope you are happy to receive details of new publications from Peepal Tree Press. If you want to be removed from our mailing list, please let us know. Best wishes Hannah ____________________________________________________________________ Peepal Tree Press -- Publishers of the Best in New Caribbean Writing 17 King's Avenue, Leeds LS6 1QS, United Kingdom tel 0113 2451703 fax 0113 2459616 e-mail Our catalogue is now available by e-mail. You can choose from: 1) New Fiction (1999 titles) 2) New Poetry (1999 titles) 3) New Literary, Cultural and Historical Studies (1999 titles) 4) Backlist Fiction (1986-1998) 5) Backlist Poetry (1986-1998) 6) Backlist Literary, Cultural and Historical Studies (1986-1998)

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Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

The poems in Curry Flavour will grab you with their exuberant

recreation of the dramas of an intensely experienced inner life.

Their imagery is sensuous, drawn from, among other sources, the

flora and fauna of the Caribbean landscape. Their voice is

erotic, humorous, subversive, prayerful, angry, revolutionary

and celebratory.

Inspired by the all-embracing nature of the Hindu Gods, these

poems attack biases and false polarities of all kinds, not least

between stereotypes of gender, the sexual and the spiritual and

the personal and the political. They express a New World, pan-

Caribbean consciousness which is rooted in a womanist

revisioning of her Indian ancestral heritage and a childhood and

youth spent on the sugar-growing Caroni plains of Trinidad.

With the ceremonial incense of prayer, the ripe mango-syrup of

erotic celebration, the pungency of wild coriander and shadon

beni of the Creole folkworld, this is a feast for all the

senses, blended together but keeping fresh all their individual

piquancy, accompanied by the sound of tassa and steelband,

simmered over a fire that burns away the jumbies of homophobia,

incest, violence and racial hatred.

Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming was born in Trinidad in 1960. A

mechanical/building services engineer and part-time college

lecturer, she now lives in Nassau, Bahamas. As well as writing

poetry and short stories, she draws and sculpts.

Paperback original


ISBN: 1-900715-35-X

Price: UK£7.99 / US$14.95 / CAN$19.20

Pages: 120

Date of Publication: July 2000 -- copies available now!

Postage Rates per copy UK£1.00 2nd class UK£2.10 airmail

US$3.50 airmail CAN$5 airmail

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(last updated April 25/03)