Salt: A Novel

  • Publish Date: 2004-09-30
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Earl Lovelace
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A West Indian novel of "generous, torrential prose" (The New York Times Book Review), winner of the 1997 Commonwealth Writers Prize.

One hundred years after Emancipation, the diverse people of Trinidad?African, Asian, and European?have not settled into the New World. In Salt, an unforgettable cast of men and women strive with wit and passion to make sense of life in an evolving homeland. What a terrific book this is! It begins with an opening of mythic import where Guineau John, ancestor of black people, tucks two corncobs under his arms and flies home to Africa. His descendants, too heavy to fly because they have eaten salt, remain on the island of Trinidad, the novel's setting. The book is peopled with memorable characters, such as Alford George, an awkward, ungainly boy who does not speak till he is 6, spends his days reading, and grows up to be a schoolteacher and then politician. One of Lovelace's central concerns, expressed early in the first chapter, is how to deal with freedom after centuries of oppression. But this is no humorless polemic; it is a living, breathing novel, peopled with recognizable characters wrestling with all-too-human dilemmas.

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