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In the Castle of My Skin

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


In a sleepy fishing village in 1930s Barbados, nine-year-old G. leads a life of quiet mischief. While the village lies tranquil in the shadow of its English landlord, Mr Creighton, and his towering house on the hill, G. makes his own fun, crab catching, teasing preachers, and playing among the pumpkin vines. Yet from this world of boyish pursuits, the precocious G. finds himself slowly awakening to strange goings-on in adult society. All around him, sudden bursts of violence-a devastating flood on the morning of his birthday; the headmaster unduly flogging his schoolmates on Empire day-hint at a brutality and destruction lurking beneath the apparently peaceful order things.

As the mounting wrongs of the present drive the villagers to rise up against Mr Creighton, the fissures in the façade of his Barbadian 'little England' begin to crack open, laying bare the central, bruising secret at the heart of their shared past. And as the world he knows crumbles before his eyes, G. is spurred ever closer to a life-changing decision, to secure his own freedom as he moves into adulthood.

Poetic, unsettling, this classic coming-of-age novel is a story of tragic innocence, as a poor village boy comes to consciousness amid the collapse of colonial rule in mid-century Barbados.

From Publishers Weekly

04 March 1991 – Though this acclaimed Jamaican poet spent a good part of her life in the U.S., this is the first time her work has been available here. She makes it abundantly clear that her ``roots are african,'' and she might best be described as a cultural feminist: ``We are the women / with thread bags / anchored deep in our bosoms / containing blood agreements / silver coins and cloves of garlic . . . '' The poems' speakers continually seek out nature's power: birds are ``the soul's symbol''; ``Asi itra is not sure / I deserve to have / close contact with her / because she is star / and I'm only me.'' From its opening pages, we see the poet's obsession with naming--whether in the names of cities where slaves have taken root or in three poems that attempt to find names for God. Peace, both inner- and outer-directed, is a constant theme as well. There are poems for Rosa Parks and Winnie Mandela, but as the volume progresses, the concerns grow increasingly spiritual and less directly political. Goodison's use of dialect (especially in the early poems) might be a bit difficult for readers unfamiliar with the culture, but her strong sense of rhythm helps carry her message.
In the Castle of My Skin
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  • £4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biography
  • Published: 25 May 2017
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Version: 1.0.0
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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