TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Witchbroom by Lawrence Scott

Witchbroom by Lawrence Scott is a flowing, dizzying novel – it feels much like Love in the Time of Cholera. Both a satirical and mournful book, following Lavren, the last child of a great plantation family on Trinidad, who is both intersex and able to conjure up his family’s past – somewhere between telling tales, actual visions, and physically manifesting in the past.

It’s dreamy floating magical realism, without hard narrative boundaries, but that tracks through the crimes and passions of Lavren’s family through Trinidad’s history. Class, race, religion, and colonial power structures weave their way through the decline and dying out of this wealthy family, who are sometimes cruel, wholly self-interested, and all very odd, but at the same time, it’s shot through with the human tenderness of Lavren taking care of his mother in her last days.

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