Sam Selvon, a contemporary writer of major importance, is well
known to British and Caribbean readers, but his work -- including
ten novels -- has not attained the prominence it deserves
This study is a literary analysis of Selvon's use of Trinidad
Creole English as an important component of his style and method of
fictional composition. Wyke follows the development of Selvon's
writing from his early to his late career, starting with his first
novel, A Brighter Sun (1952), continuing with The Lonely Londoners
(1956) and the short stories Ways of Sunlight (1957), and devoting
a large part of the book to Selvon's middle and later years,
focusing on such novels as I Hear Thunder (1963), The Housing Lark
(1965), and Those Who Eat the Cascadura (1972). He finishes with
the last two works of Selvon's trilogy, Moses Ascending (1975) and
Moses Migrating (1983).
The book reveals Selvon as a serious pioneer in the use of
dialect in narration instead of mainly in the dialogue of novels
and other fiction writing. Wyke's concise and penetrating analysis
of individual novels and short stories, including the lyrical story
'My Girl and the City, ' and his demonstration of features of
Trinidad Creole English as a versatile tool in the hands of a
novelist, will appeal to literary critics as well as to those who
are interested in the relationship between linguistics and literary
criticism. Selvon's work often combines an interesting and
humorous, yet serious, portrayal of the Commonwealth experience
which will sound familiar to Caribbean, English, and Canadian
audiences. This book will introduce new readers to his oeuvre and
will be particularly appealing to those examining the connection
between the Caribbean, Canada, and Britain -- places where Selvon
has lived and from where he draws the rich material he uses to
create his art.
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