Sic Transit Wagon

The stories in this collection move from the all-seeing naïveté of a child narrator trying to make sense of the world of adults, through the consciousness of the child-become-mother, to the mature perceptions of the older woman taking stock of her life. Set over a timespan from colonial-era Trinidad to the hazards and alarms of its postcolonial present, these stories have, at their core, the experience of uncomfortable change, but seen with a developing sense of its constancy as part of life, and the need for acceptance. The stories deal with the vulnerabilities and shames of a childhood of poverty; the pain of being let down; glimpses of the secret lives of adults; betrayals in love; the temptations of possessiveness; conflicts between the desire for belonging and independence; and the devastation of loss through illness, dementia, and death. What brings each of these not uncommon situations to fresh and vivid life is the quality of the writing: the shape of the stories, the unerring capturing of the rhythms of the voice and a way of seeing that includes a saving sense of humor and the absurd and also delights in the characters that people these stories.

Review

This is as delightful as writing gets: the reader recognises, as the words unfold, his own memory in that of the writer, and fiction becomes documentary. Jenkins manages this kind of trick time and again.
BC Pires – Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

Sic Transit Wagon and other stories

Sic Transit Wagon and other stories

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