BUXTON SPICE

Oonya Kempadoo

Back in print: an extraordinary first novel by “a writer to watch and to enjoy.”*

Told in the voice of a girl as she moves from childhood into adolescence, Buxton Spice is the story the town of Tamarind Grove: its eccentric families, its sweeping joys, and its sudden tragedies. The novel brings to life 1970s Guyana—a world at a cultural and political crossroads—and perfectly captures a child’s keen observations, sense of wonder, and the growing complexity of consciousness that marks the passage from innocence to experience.

“A superb, and superbly written, novel of childhood and childhood’s end . . . Kempadoo writes in a rich Creole, filling her story with kaleidoscopic images of Guyana’s coastal plains . . . Her story is also one of sexual awakening, and she explores these new feelings with a curiosity and freedom that are refreshing . . . Kempadoo’s novel, like the Buxton Spice mango tree, reveals its secrets, private and political, only sparingly until the bitter end.” —Patrick Markee, New York Times Book Review

“Oonya Kempadoo . . . has written a sexy, stirring, richly poetic semi-autobiographical first novel.” —Gabriella Stern, Wall Street Journal

“As juicy and ripe as the fruits drooping from the Buxton Spice mango tree . . . Kempadoo’s Caribbean argot is precise and fluid, enriching this debut with bawdiness, violence, and raucous humor.” —Los Angeles Times

“There is a salt freshness to Kempadoo’s writing, an immediacy which makes the reader catch breath for pleasure at the recognition of something exactly observed . . . She is a writer to watch and to enjoy, for her warmth, her fine intelligence and her striking use of language.” —Paula Burnett, The Independent (London)*

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Shortlist announced - 21 Apr

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