Rhoda Bharath’s stories bring a very contemporary Trinidad of the internet and social media into an urgent but complex focus. Told through a distinctive range of individual voices, they visit the domestic and public spaces of a country moving too fast between the knowing innocence of its past and the experience of a globalised present where the words “shipping and transportation” have quite a different meaning in the thesaurus of the street corner.
Caught in the antagonisms of race, class and gender; the violence that comes with the trade in cocaine; and an Anancy politics where government power is the means to personal wealth made secure by favours to one’s ethnic supporters, Bharath’s characters are often engaged in a struggle to balance a desire for meaning and self-worth with the temptations of survival by any means.
What Bharath brings to these narratives is an elliptical economy of suggestion that invites the reader to make connections; a bold, prophetic voice of alarm over a world that seems to have lost its moral compass; and subtly empathetic insights into the inner lives of her vividly drawn characters, but also a witty eye for the absurdity of their pretensions.
Rhoda Bharath was born and lives in Trinidad. A writer, lecturer and blogger, she teaches at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine.