Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Ghost Stories from the Caribbean

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Ghost Stories from the Caribbean

Article excerpt

Ghost Stories from the Caribbean ··· Martin Munro, Editor. The Haunted Tropics: Caroibbean Ghost Stories. Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-97664-551-9.

This book reflects on the damage done to the Americas and the Caribbean by European invaders and the ghost stories that resulted from the devastation of so many lives among the native populations, African slaves, people oppressed by dictators, and other suffering populations. This is a collection of stories from a group of authors. I don't like essay collections in general because the essays tend to lack a coherent message in the book as a whole. Additionally, many of the essays are frequently weak and deliver few interesting or innovative bits of information. When I dissect these, I typically only find one usable (in my own research) essay, so it's a lot of work to get to the one nugget of gold. Short stories collections present a similar problem, as there might only be one outstanding work of fiction in the bunch.

I judge fiction by the density of the prose. There are some light stories here that are mostly dialogue with few descriptions, but a few of them offer a pretty rich linguistic density: "He hear a rumble coming from the shaft he jumped out of not so long ago and he tuck the phone-book-size album in his waistband and fling himself through the fire escape only to find himself ankle-deep in water" (96). …

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