Summer Lightning has achieved the status of a classic,
having won the first Commonwealth Writers Prize. It has remained in
print since its first publication in 1986 as part of the Longman
Caribbean Writers series and continues to be beloved of readers and
taught at schools and universities worldwide.
Summer Lightning is an original contribution to the flourishing school
of West Indian writers who create rooms we've never seen before, voices
we've never heard.
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Senior's achievement is to address ominous issues obliquely, by
cataloguing, with wit and affection, the lilting speech and loping gait
of the local population.
TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
Summer Lightning startles in its clarity of imagery, its lucid evocation
of contrasting moods and its language - a sophisticated fusion of
Jamaican English and Creole prose rhythms.
...the ubiquitous gossip that levels all class and social
distinctions is the linchpin for all Senior's stories. Young and old,
male and female all contribute to a collage of viewpoints, embellishing
and enriching the protagonist's tale... This collection is a jouvert
THE CARIBBEAN WRITER
In her range of register, her manipulation of narrative viewpoint and
the overall sharp wit and vibrancy of her observations and comments on
society, Olive Senior's writing is dynamic and original.
This is the most exciting collection of short stories to come out of the
Caribbean for a very long time and it places Olive Senior in the front
rank of fiction writers.
Her characters . . . are real people, caught between the everyday world
and the world of the imagination, with lasting ties and confusing
emotions... . an outstanding collection by an extremely talented
THIRD WORLD QUARTERLY
The total effect is of a particular world illuminated from every angle
and, by the time we turn the final page, intimately known.
JOURNAL OF WEST INDIAN LITERATURE
She keeps us turning the pages because she makes each of her characters
matter to her readers, so that we feel, wherever we ourselves are from,
that they are part of the humanity we share.