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The Sleepers of Roraima & The Age of the Rainmakers

In 1970 and 1971, Wilson Harris published two short story collections that explored the myths, fables and fragments of history of the Amerindian peoples of Guyana and the Caribbean. These are brought together in the current volume.

£9.99

Author(s)
Wilson Harris
ISBN
9781845231651
Pages
200
Price
£9.99
Classification
Caribbean Modern Classics, Fiction, Short Stories
Setting
Guyana
Date published
24 Nov 2014

In 1970 and 1971, Wilson Harris published two short story collections that explored the myths, fables and fragments of history of the Amerindian peoples of Guyana and the Caribbean. These are brought together in the current volume. The Sleepers of Roraima, subtitled “A Carib Trilogy” focuses on the ironic fate of the Caribs, the feared conquerors of other Amerindian peoples, the cannibals of European legend, but in the present the most vanished, almost extinct of all these groups. In The Age of the Rainmakers, each of the stories focuses on one of the groups still present in Guyana: the Macusi, Arecuna, Wapisiana and Arawaks. In the absence of reliable history, and in the face of the stereotypes attached to these people (such as stoicism or a propensity for laughter), Harris makes no attempt to write conventional fictional reconstructions of an ethnographic kind, but subjects the fragments of tribal lore to imaginative revision. His stories work towards the discovery of what is “original” in the sense of primordial in these narratives, in discovering such common patterns as the loss of innocence, the connections between sacrifice and transcendence, or even the shared identities of cannibal and Eucharistic consumption.

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Wilson Harris

Wilson Harris was born in New Amsterdam in British Guiana, with a background which embraces African, European and Amerindian ancestry.

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