Light Falling on Bamboo by Lawrence Scott

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Scott imagines a sympathetic Cazabon who is possibly more tortured over his peccadilloes than would be true of the time, but the novel is written in a magnificent prose style that matches the art it describes.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Trinidad, 1848. Michel Jean Cazabon returns home from France to his beloved mother's deathbed.


Despite the Emancipation Act, his childhood home is in the grip of colonial power, its people riven by the legacy of slavery. Michel Jean finds himself caught between the powerful and the dispossessed. As an artist, he enjoys the governor's patronage, painting for him the island's vistas and its women; as a Trinidadian he shares easy wisdom and nips of rum with the local boat-builders. But domestic tensions and haunting reminders of the past abound. His fiery half-sister Josie - the daughter of a slave - still provokes in him a youthful passion; his flirtatious muse Augusta tempts him as he paints her 'for posterity'. Meanwhile, letters from his white, French wife and children remind him of their imminent arrival on the island.

 

About Lawrence Scott

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Lawrence Scott is the author of Aelred's Sin and Ballad for the New World and Other Stories. Three of his books have been listed for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.
 
Published September 6, 2012 by Tindal Street. 481 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Bernardine Evaristo on Sep 28 2012

Scott imagines a sympathetic Cazabon who is possibly more tortured over his peccadilloes than would be true of the time, but the novel is written in a magnificent prose style that matches the art it describes.

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