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Carew, Jan

indian america book

(Guyanese, 1925– )

Carew's 1958 novel, Black Midas, set in the Guyana hinterland, tells the story of a pork-knocker (one of those early native pioneers prospecting for gold and diamonds in the interior). Something that wears well in the book is the love-interest across race and class lines—in this case African and Indian. These tensions still ring true in West Indian society. Carew is active in most branches of literature, including poetry and children's fiction; he is celebrated for his essays on the peoples of pre-Columbian America. Similarly, his book Moscow is Not My Mecca (1964, republished as Green Winter, 1965) is of special interest: Carew travelled in eastern Europe and studied in Czechoslovakia but it was a cousin's experiences in the Soviet Union that led him here to explode the myth of a non-racist, socialist brotherhood. Other novels include The Wild Coast (1958) and The Last Barbarian (1961)—this last being autobiographical, dramatizing his alienation as a student in America.

Wilson Harris, V. S. Naipaul  EM

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