Arrival of the Snake-Woman and Other Stories by Olive SeniorArrival of the Snake-Woman and Other Stories by Olive Senior

Arrival of the Snake-Woman and Other Stories

byOlive Senior

Paperback | October 15, 2009

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The Toronto author Olive Senior's Jamaican birthplace provides the setting for these powerfully engaging stories that span a period of roughly 150 years, from the closing days of slavery in 1838 to the 1980s. The tensions wrought by rapid change and conflicting loyalties are at the heart of these stories, most beautifully evoked in the novella "Arrival of the Snake-Woman". Here a young boy narrates the seminal event of his childhood in the late nineteenth century: the coming of a lonely Indian indentured woman into a mountain village. Senior's stories are leavened with wit and humour and the intricate play with language; her characters emerge as triumphant examples of the human spirit unravelling the complex weave of race, class, and cultural and ethnic identity.

First Canadian Edition

"Arrival of the Snake-Womancontains some of Olive Senior's masterpieces. A new edition is a caus for celebration." - H Nigel Thomas, from the Afterword

"Arrival of the Snake-Womanhas consilidated (Olive Senior's) reputation as one of the most accomplished writers of short fiction and as one of the Caribbeans finest creative minds." -Caribbean Week

Olive Senioris one of Canada's most internationally recongnised and acclaimed writers. Amongst her many awards and honours she has won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and F.G. Bressani Literary Award, and was runner up for the Casa de Las Americas Prize and the Pat Lowther Award. In 2003, she received the Norman Washington Manley Founda...
Title:Arrival of the Snake-Woman and Other StoriesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 8.76 × 5.76 × 0.5 inPublished:October 15, 2009Publisher:Mawenzi House Publishers Ltd.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1894770536

ISBN - 13:9781894770538

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS: Arrival of the Snake-Woman (1), The Tenantry of Birds (49), The Two Grandmothers (67), Tears of the Sea (83), See the Tiki-Tiki Scatter (91), The View from the Terrace (99), Lily, Lily (123), Afterword by H Nigel Thomas (159), Acknowledgements (171)

Editorial Reviews

"Arrival of the Snake-Woman has consolidated (Olive Senior's) reputation as one of the most accomplished writers of short fiction and as one of the Caribbean's finest creative minds." - Caribbean Week. REVIEW BY EVELYN C WHITE. First published more than 20 years ago in England, Arrival of the Snake-Woman's Canadian release marks a major moment for arts&culture scholars of Afro-Caribbean literature and general readers alike. An exquisitely crafted collection of stories by Jamaica-born Toronto author Olive Senior, the volume shimmers with rhythm, colour and a deep intelligence that opens a window into the complex world of people colonized by dominant white culture. Two novella-length works, the title story and "Lily-Lily," bracket the collection. Narrated by a young boy, the former details the impact of an Indian woman in a tight-knit Jamaican village, itself under the religious sway of white missionaries. As the story unfolds, Senior offers an artful meditation on desire, difference, identity and power: "I was frightened by what Parson would say when they brought her into the district wearing ... gold bangles all the way up her arms and ankles ... and-a sure sign of heathenness- a gold ring in her nose." "Lily-Lily" turns on the themes of skin colour, caste and status, issues that continue to resonate throughout the African Diaspora. "For the first time in her life [Lily) realized that there were other, superior, attributes which resided in white skin, straight hair," Senior writes. "In belonging, not to a poverty-stricken colony, but to Mother England." In "The Tenantry of Birds," an emotionally abused woman rebels against the cage of a loveless marriage. "The View from the Terrace" chronicles the life of a civil serva nt whose "success" has narrowed his humanity. "He felt smug now when he thought of his own large, roomy shipshape dwelling and the foolish, crazily built shack on the hillside," the author writes. Other stories probe lonely children, troubled family relations and the solace that can be found amidst sand and seashells. In an insightful afterword, Senior notes: "I grew up in two worlds. It's true that I received a classical colonial education, but I had another life; there was another Jamaica out there that I was part of." Let a cavalcade of Caribbean steel drums welcome Senior's salute to heritage, heart and liberating truths.Evelyn C. White is the author of Alice Walker: A Life and Every Goodbye Ain't Gone: A Photo Narrative of Black Heritage on Salt Spring Island with photographs by Joanne Beaty."The Jamaican society provides Olive Senior an endless font of material for her creative hand to mould. The style she writes in is consistently delightful and easy to read, so easy indeed, that the unsuspecting reader runs the risk of forgetting the deep and sometimes dreadful concerns to which she would point her audience. We look forward to several other collections from this mistress of short fiction." - Journal of West Indian Literature