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Alfred H. Mendes (Hubert Mendes) Biography

(1897– ), (Hubert Mendes), Trinidad, The Beacon, Pitch Lake, Black Fauns

Trinidadian novelistand short-story writer, born in Trinidad, educated at Hitchin Grammar School in England. During the 1920s and 1930s he published short stories and essays, in Trinidad and The Beacon amongst other journals. In the 1930s he spent some time in America, where work on the Federal Writers' Project brought him into contact with black American writers such as Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen. His first novel, Pitch Lake (1934), was published with an introduction by Aldous Huxley; the novel focuses on Joe da Costa, of Portuguese descent, who is torn between the sterility of middle-class life and a woman belonging to the ‘barrack-yard’ or poorer section of Trinidadian society. His other novel, Black Fauns (1935), is set entirely in the ‘barrack-yard’ milieu and has been praised for its focus on strong women characters.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: McTeague to Nancy [Freeman] Mitford Biography