16 - A Collection of Short Stories
Published By: Royards Publishing Company
Price: US$ 13.50
16 is a uniformly strong collection of lively, well-crafted and previously unpublished short stories; most of them showing distinct promise, and a few approaching excellence. One of the pleasures of reading the whole book is that while each story can stand up for itself, the gathering has the impact of a unified whole.
The stories announce their island identity by satisfying certain common expectations of the Trinidadian/West Indian short story: impressive and often functional descriptions of the landscape; the vivid, dialect-speaking characters (including the smartman/trickster); the outsider figures; humour and comedy; folk material including the supernatural; and the writer’s consciousness of the interplay between ‘the rural’ and ‘the urban’ as they merge into each other. Conforming to tradition does not prevent the collection from feeling new.