CROSSBONES and Other StoriesProduct no.: HP120
This collection of short stories, from Trinidad’s versatile and ebullient Willi Chen, features the wide variety of ordinary folk of the island. There are farmers, shopkeepers, thieves, drug-dealers, migrants from other islands and far-off places, people on the move, and people looking for a place and a life. It is a stark and elemental world: brute force versus human enterprise; cruelty pausing before sheer beauty; jumbie birds, snakes, howler monkeys and thunderous storms. There are depths around the everyday surfaces: A disappointed man drifts back from the city to his rural setting; an honest small-islander is surprised by himself; a ‘foul’ thief, bitten by a dog, suffers rather than let an obeah woman examine the wound; a man turns away from thoughts of suicide and finds his wife dying instead.
Writer, painter, sculptor, baker, Willi Chen is a multi-faceted Trinidadian of Chinese origin. His stories are filled with surprise, tension, fear, farce and comedy and come from the circumstance that his characters – of whatever station or ethnic origin – are all in a state of being or becoming Trinidadian. His style reflects the magical realism and exuberance of the language of the Caribbean, and his characters are alive and memorable and record the very essence of real life in Trinidad and Tobago.
“Willi Chen’s writing is vivid, passionate and imbued with the carnivalesque spirit of Trinidad.” David Dabydeen
“In Willi Chen, there is the most unusual gift of versatility.” Michael Anthony