The Pain Tree

By (author): Olive Senior


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.


“At every level of her stories’ constructions, Senior works deftly … dealing with open palms in the deep wells of remembrance, ancestry and a crosshatch of colonising scars, this fiction looks face-upwards to the mountains of multiple Jamaicas for hope, home and daily bread.”
– The Trinidad Guardian

“The magic of Olive Senior’s stories is that they weather time with uncommon power. In these collected short fictions, published and broadcast in various incarnations from the 1990s forward, the concerns of class, language, identity, and refuge reign, explored in prose that is all the more commanding for its subtle navigations.”
– Caribbean Beat

“[Senior’s] prose is supple and ornate … there is technique aplenty.”
– Quill and Quire

“[Its] voices are authentic – a variety of rhythms and cadences appear on the page – and Olive Senior pulls readers into quiet moments of transformation with considerable emotional intensity. Like Alice Munro’s stories, some are remarkably complex structurally … like Mavis Gallant’s short stories, these combine the engaged eye of a resident with the distanced eye of an observer … I read The Pain Tree twice (yes, twice!)”
– Buried in Print


  • OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature 2016, Winner
  • Association of Caribbean Writers Grand Literary Prize 2017, Short-listed
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    200 Pages


    September 26, 2015


    Cormorant Books



    Book Subjects:

    FICTION / Literary


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