A CULT CLASSIC!
Antoni isn't writing literature with Cut Guavas. He's cutting it open, sinking under the skin, pumping new blood into the veins, and shaping it into unimaginable forms.
Shortlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Best Caribbean Novel
Trinidad-born Austin Stoker has become one of the first successful black actors in Hollywood, known for his early action film, Assault on Precinct 13, directed by John Carpenter. Now, at 83 years-of-age, Stoker stars in the sequal to another of his early blockbuster hits: Assault on the Civilization of the Simians. While portraying his older self in the ape world of Postscript, set in 2680 AD, Stioker stumbles onto the "film-within-the-film"--the story of his own origins in 1940's Port of Spain as the result of a salacious and clandestine love affair.
AS FLIES TO WHATLESS BOYS
A CHARLATAN INVENTOR!
HIS HAPLESS FOLLOWERS!
A ROMANCE ABOARD SHIP!
Winner of the OCM Bocas Prize for Best Caribbean Book
A marvel of a novel, layered in histories, As Flies to Whatles Boys is an unforgetable and matchless work of fiction..
Guggenheim Fellowship Winner
In 1845 London, J.A. Etzler has invented revolutionary machines, powered by the immense forces of Mother Nature. He establishes the Tropical Emigration Society, and his followers set sail for Trinidad. Aboard ship, young Willy Tucker is only interested in pursuing the equisite and wise Marguerite Whitechurch. As she predicts, Etzler's machines will never work, and rather than utopia and wordly riches, the pioneers must face an uninhabitable swampland, starvation, and the Black Vomit--tragedy played out against a background of youthful romance.
Antoni has pulled off a stunning and original literary feat: elevating Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises to archetypal status and then brilliantly dismantle it in the light of the twenty-first century zeitgeist. A meditation on race, sexuality, belief systems, and fiction itself.
--ROBERT OLEN BUTLER
William is an aspiring novelist who has come to New York to escape his affluent, white West Indian roots. A chance meeting in a Greenwich Village bar reunites him with two childhood friends: Laurence, risen from his black, middle-class island origins to become a tennis progeny and Oxford scholar; and the vivacious Rachel, William's first love and Lawrence's current crush. Together, the three make a liquor-soaked pledge to return "home" for Carnival. But the festival's ecstasy soon slides into a fog of ganja, alcohol, and the endless soca beat. As William, Rachel, and Laurence journey to a remote beach to "cool down" after the festival, the three hope for a secret paradise, hidden "behind God's back," to begin anew. Yet even here the demons of history, prejudice, and hatred violently intrude.
MY GRANDMOTHER'S EROTIC FOLKTALES
A FOWLMOUTHED GRANNY!
A MASTER STORYTELLER!
The tales are bawdy, hilarious and magical--if only all grannies could be like this!
--THE TIMES (LONDON)
Antoni's rhythmic sentences, dazzling imagination and descriptive powers seduced me utterly!
--THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
During World War II an American military base is established in Trinidad, and the island changes face overnight--not in dedication to the war effort, but to "service" the newly arrived soldiers. Prostitutes decend on Port of Spain, gambling dens flourish, together with all manner of debauchery. Granny Myna is a young widow, her six boys all in university in Canada, their bedrooms vacant, her large home empty. With the General's encouragement--and to pocket some cash of her own--she takes in boarders, a motley crew of soldiers who soon become like her own sons. Every night, in an attempt to keep "her boys" out of the brothels, she tells them stories--tales enticing enough to defeat the temptations waiting beyond her door.
BLESSED IS THE FRUIT
TWO WOMEN - ONE BLACK, ONE WHITE - AN UNBORN CHILD -THEIR INTERTWINED STORIES
Robert Antoni's new book, Blessed is the Fruit, is so rich, so lush, so intoxicatingly gorgeous that, like a handful of my favorite books--One Hundred Years of Solitude, Beloved, The House of the Spirits--I will be savoring it for years to come.
Lilla is the white mistress of a once grand Colonial mansion. Vel, her black servant, has come to the house seeking refuge from her poor village. The two women have lived alone for ten years in quiet formality, neither aware of the ways in which their dissonant pasts intersect. Now Vel finds herself pregnant, a condition she fearfully hides from her mistress. The unborn infant, Bolom--whose name invokes a child of Caribbean lore, struggling for life but destined to die before its birth--resists Vel's efforts to abort by drugs, bush medicine, and Obeah spells. After one last desperate and bloody attempt, Lilla discovers Vel and carries her upstairs to her own bedroom, a private sanctury where Vel has never been allowed entrance. From this safe place the two women tell their stories, divided by a literal glass page in the same way history, class, and Colonialism have sepatrated them--a page the reader shatters through their performance of reading. It is a testament to Lilla and Vel's shared humanity, to their hope for the child to come.
A FROGCHILD - A MIRACULOUS BLACK MADONNA - A CARIBBEAN MYTH
Winner of the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Novel
"Trinidad, indeed the entire West Indies, has its James Joyce!"
"This is Magical Realism with an avant-guard twist, as if García Máques and Joyce had themselves engaged in unholy habitation."
--THE WASHINGTON POST
Winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant
A mysterious child, half-human, half-frog, is born on the island of Corpus Christi. Its mother becomes Magdalena Divina, the black madonna, patron saint of the island. And the frogchild becomes the focus of an evolving legend as Johnny Domingo hears numerous versions and tries, impossibly, to piece them together. Many strange events must be reconciled, including Magdalena's suicide while giving birth, and conflicting reports of the frogchild's death. As Johnny pries deeper seven distinct voices emerge, each teller speaking in their own unique West Indian vernacular. At the heart of the novel is a retelling of the Hindu love myth, The Ramayana, with the monkey-god Hanuman speaking out in monkey-language; at his tale's centre an actual mirror appears, the reader seeing their own Caribbean monkey-face reflected in the page.