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Brighter Sun, A

Turn Again Tiger

novel indian tiger selvon

S. Selvon's first novel, published in 1952, in which the author deals with race relations in Trinidad, particularly the integration of the descendants of East Indian indentured workers with the island's people of African descent. Tiger, the reflective Indian peasant hero, is the son of an agricultural labourer who, fresh from an arranged Hindu marriage, leaves his family in the sugar-cane belt to settle in a suburban village closer to the city. The novel traces his development into manhood, fatherhood, and expanded consciousness after he moves with his young wife Urmilla from a closed community to a multi-racial one, where their neighbours are the black couple Joe and Rita. The interaction between the couples, in the course of which, alongside domestic responsibilities, Tiger acquires a view of responsible citizenship, seems to presage a bright future for a new society freed from the racially isolated past. Selvon's flexible use of dialect reflects the inner experience of his central character, and it is in this novel that dialect first becomes the language of consciousness in West Indian fiction. A sequel, Turn Again Tiger, was published in 1958.

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