Literature & Stories

Maybe its the Soca

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If the measure of a writer’s success is the ire he provokes, then V. S. Naipaul is a spectacular success in Trinidad. In this island nation of just over a million people, there is a widespread perception that he has jilted his homeland through unflattering portraits in his books and a string of cutting remarks over the years. “History is built around achievement and creation; and nothing was created in the West Indies,” Naipaul wrote in “The Middle Passage” (1962) — the first sign that he wasn’t going to play the proud native son.

A fresher wound came in 2001, when Naipaul omitted any mention of Trinidad from his initial press release after winning the Nobel Prize, which many here saw as a deliberate rebuff. And last year, during a visit sponsored by the University of the West Indies, Naipaul more than lived up to his reputation for cantankerousness, prompting disapproving press coverage after he snapped at a group of students at a Hindu girls’ high school.

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Literature & Stories

Virago

grave1.gifShe felt as though she was spiraling to hell as she ran breathlessly down the hill. She was not a runner, she had not done this often, but there was a man chasing her and she had seen out of the corner of her eye, the danger he carried in his right hand, its barrel pointing to the ground.

Why hadn’t she listened to her mother? She should have been at home, her brother had been sick. But she loved the way the wind blew through her hair as she gripped his waist on the back of his motorcycle, and she resented the way her mother ordered her around.

Why should she? She knew these people well, came here all the time, they were cool people, they treated her like she belonged, always offered her a Guinness, always shared their weed. Tonight they wanted to make it official, make her one of them.

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