Arrival of the Snake-Woman

By Olive Senior

Arrival of the Snake-Woman
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The Toronto author's Jamaican birthplace provides the setting for these powerful and poignant 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 ... Read more


Overview

The Toronto author's Jamaican birthplace provides the setting for these powerful and poignant 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 and her characters emerge as triumphant examples of the human spirit unravelling the complex weave of race, class, and cultural and ethnic identity.

Olive Senior

Olive Senior is the prize-winning author of a dozen books of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Her short story collection Summer Lightning (Longman, 1986) won the inaugural Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book, and her poetry collection Over the Roofs of the World (Insomniac, 2005) was a finalist for the 2005 Governor General's Literary Award for poetry. Born in Jamaica, she has travelled widely and now spends most of her time in Jamaica and Toronto.

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

"An exquisitely crafted collection of stories . . . 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. " --Herizons

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