Information about the author.
When Mary-Mathilda, one of the most respected women on the colonized island of Bimshire (also known as Barbados), calls the police to confess to a crime, the result is a shattering all-night vigil. She claims the crime is against Mr. Belfeels, the powerful manager of the sugar plantation that dominates the villagers’ lives and for whom she has worked for more than thirty years as a field laborer, kitchen help, and maid. She was also Mr. Belfeels’s mistress, kept in good financial status in the Great House of the plantation, and the mother of his only son, Wilberforce, a successful doctor, who after living abroad returns to the island.
Set in the period following World War II, The Polished Hoe unravels over the course of twenty-four hours but spans the lifetime of one woman and the collective experience of a society characterized by slavery.
Three Canadian soldiers awaiting deployment to the war in Afghanistan beat a homeless man to death on the steps of their armoury after a night of heavy drinking. The poet, whose downtown Toronto home overlooks the armoury and surrounding park, describes the crime, its perpetrators, the victim, and a cast of homeless witnesses that includes the woman, a prostitute, who first alerts police. The subsequent trial evokes reflection on the immigrant experience the poet shares with one of the accused, and on the agony of that young soldier’s mother.
From Kandahar to Bridgetown to Mississauga, Ontario, Where the Sun Shines Best encompasses a tragedy of epic scope, a lyrical meditation on poverty, racism and war, and a powerful indictment of the ravages of imperialism.
When a man and a woman meet on a summer day, they begin a conversation that will change both their lives. As their words weave a web of intimacy, the man finds himself drawn into recollections of his childhood on an island in the Caribbean, and to reflections on his life in Toronto. But who is she, this woman he meets at a party? What is behind her dark secrets? What can anyone know about another—really? As their relationship hurtles forward, he gradually finds himself part of a strange triangle of affections, until events escalate, leading to the novel’s dramatic final scenes.