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Buxton Spice

Buxton Spice

Author(s): Oonya Kempadoo

Location(s): Guyana

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): 1970s

A novel of sexual awakening, against the chaotic background of 1970’s Guyana from a glowing and distinctive new Afro – Caribbean voice.

In the chaotic multi-cultural atmosphere of Golden Grove, with African, Asian, Native American and Putagee voices mingling to create an exuberant language of Guyana’s own, 4 little girls, 2 sets of sisters, all on the brink of puberty, are growing up.

The town is peopled by vivid, stormy types – 4 mad people, sexy Marilyn, Rasta types, strict Catholic Portuguese mothers and slightly less strict hindu ones, teachers, politicians, ministers, and the world, for the girls, is full of daily wonder and a constant assessing of just how far they can go.

Against the background of their growing up is the disintegration of the state they live in, an encroaching but mysterious political threat as state control tightens.

The narrator and her sister Tammy live in a liberated household, their father thought to side with the opposition. Their friends, Judy and Rachel from the giant De Abro family next door have to contend with obsessively strict parents. Between them, they manage to make a free world for themselves, until the night when the Government cracks down and the girls are caught up in the mayhem.

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