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-Guyanese. Ranging from the
earliest attempts at cultural self-definition in the 19th century
(and early narrative images of the Indian presence in non-Indian
writing), to the creative writing of the 1990s, this anthology
provides a fascinating insight into the transformation of an
ancient culture in the New World.
Extracts from novels, short stories, essays and poems explore the
experience of plantation life, of relationships with other ethnic
groups, issues of gender within Indo-Guyanese culture and the
adjustments in cultural practices which separation from India and
involvement with the new environment required.
Brief introductory essays by Jeremy Poynting set historical
contexts, and there is an invaluable bibliography of Indo-Guyanese
writing. This is the only anthology of its kind.