Set in Jamaica, these powerful and poignant
stories span a period of roughly 150 years, from the closing days of slavery in 1838 to
the 1980s. The tensions wrought by rapid change and conflicting loyalties are at the
heart of these stories, most beautifully evoked in the novella "Arrival of the
Snake-Woman." Here a young boy narrates the seminal event of his childhood in the late
nineteenth century: the coming of a lonely Indian indentured woman into a mountain
Senior's stories are leavened with wit and humour and the intricate play with language and
her characters emerge as triumphant examples of the human spirit unravelling the complex
weave of race, class, and cultural and ethnic identity.
Arrival of the Snake-Woman... contains some of Olive Senior's masterpieces.
A new edition is a cause for celebration.
From the Afterword by H Nigel Thomas
Arrival of the Snake-Woman has consolidated (Olive Senior's) reputation
as one of the most accomplished writers of short fiction and as one of the Caribbean's finest creative minds.
An exquisitely crafted collection of stories... the volume shimmers
with rhythm, colour and a deep intelligence...
The style she writes in is consistently delightful and easy to read,
so easy indeed, that the unsuspecting reader runs the risk of forgetting
the deep and sometimes dreadful concerns to which she would point her audience.
JOURNAL OF WEST INDIAN LITERATURE