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The Last Ship

In a moving novel that charts the fortunes of three generations of a Chinese family in the Caribbean, Jan Shinebourne explores the power of family myth, the seductiveness of invented traditions, and the way unconscious motivations seeded in painful childhood experience can resurface in adult life.

£8.99

Author(s)
Jan Lowe Shinebourne
ISBN
9781845232467
Pages
164
Price
£8.99
Classification
Fiction, Novels, Ebook and print
Setting
Guyana, United Kingdom, China
Date published
2 Mar 2015

Available in print here and ebook from your usual store.

In a moving novel that charts the fortunes of three generations of a Chinese family in the Caribbean, Jan Shinebourne explores the power of family myth, the seductiveness of invented traditions, and the way unconscious motivations seeded in painful childhood experience can resurface in adult life. For Joan Wong, growing up in a Chinese family in the political turmoil of 1960s Guyana, family history is never straightforward. There are the examples of her grandmothers – Clarice Chung, iron-willed matriarch who has ensured the family’s survival through unremitting toil, with her pride in maintaining racial and cultural identity, and Susan Leo, whose failures have shamed the family, who found comfort from harsh poverty in relationships with two Indian men and adopting an Indian life-style. Later, when Joan Wong makes her own pilgrimage to ancestral China at the turn of the twenty-first century, there are surprises in store.

A review of The Last Ship by distinguished Guyanese Canadian academic and critic Frank Birbalsingh

What Does It Mean to Live with the Physiognomy and Cultural Heritage of Chineseness in the Caribbean? 
Anne-Marie Lee-Loy, Ryerson University, published in Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal.

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Jan Lowe Shinebourne

Jan Lowe Shinebourne was born in Berbice, Guyana, and educated at Berbice High School and the University of Guyana. She comes from the same area of Guyana as her near contemporaries, Cyril Dabydeen and Arnold Itwaru. After school she was a reporter in the city, Georgetown, and contributed to the literary magazine, ‘Expression’. She began writing in the mid 1960s and in 1974 she was a prize-winner in the National History and Arts Council Literary Competition. 
In 1987, she was also awarded with the Guyana Prize for Literature, in the Best First Book of Fiction category. Shinebourne was the first woman to have won the prize. In an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, Shinebourne commented, “what I was honoured by was the fact that I have won the prize and [been] recognized by my own country. That was the greatest honour”.

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