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Meet Me in Mozambique [Paperback]

Estate of E A Markham
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 Nov 2005
With accomplished flair, these intricately linked stories dance around Caribbean culture, air travel to Europe, teenage study in west London, idealism and independence in Africa, and academic rivalry in Sheffield. It features: witty and inventive stories from a richly stocked poetic mind - including charming family anecdotes from Montserrat, where grandmother, mother and C. J. Harris expect so much of a young student with ambition, a restless world traveller's tales - from the Caribbean to Mozambique - via London and Sheffield, the entwined adventures of an intriguing cast of comic personae: Colin Retford, Pewter Stapleton and Vincente da Firenze, delicate, playful post-colonial reflections - on Oswald Mosley, Kwame Nkrumah, Nasser Hussein...A poet of international reputation, E. A. Markham has been gathering a store of comic pieces to complement his volumes of poetry. This collection will introduce a wise and sparkling storytelling voice to many new readers; it should be filed under humour, as well as short stories and Caribbean literature. Markham is a writer of great vitality - his political, personal and social comment is wry, powerful and always entertaining. "Meet Me in Mozambique" is a collection of imaginative short pieces, spanning a lifetime of travel and writing. There are many characters with overlapping backgrounds - Pewter Stapleton in Sheffield, C. J. Harris in St Caesare, and Colin Retford in Mozambique. The stories travel between three continents, often via London where the writer spent his teenage years. London is a 1950s world of racism; the 1960s a time of political idealism, with models of black independence tested in Ghana, Nigeria - and Mozambique. Markham's stories meander in comic, self-deprecating fashion between tales of all these people and all these places to create an audacious world of their own.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tindal Street (1 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954791371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954791377
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 12.9 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'Markham's deadpan wit and self-protective irony never desert him. He's never less than funny, and never less than moving' Boyd Tonkin, the Independent 'Markham's work is not as familiar as it should be. Yet earlier volumes have been very highly praised by such Caribbean intellectuals as CLR James, and by the British critical establishment... Markham's intriguing poetry demonstrates great reach, illustrating its intelligence in both big and small moments, often geographically and culturally disparate, which merge unexpectedly' (Guardian, August 2002)"

From the Publisher

‘Markham uses words with quicksilver fluency: the writing, playful and skilful, lends the intricate stories a dazzling sparkle’ (Metro)
‘Here comes the nimble-footed, silver-tongued Markham (whose) deadpan wit and self-protective irony never desert him. He’s never less than funny, and never less than moving. The English-speaking Carribean has bread wonderful wanderers fro his generation, but none can boast a literary voice as wryly companionable as this.’ (Boyd Tonkin, Independent)
‘Markham’s intriguing poetry demonstrates great reach, illustrating its intelligence in both big and small moments, often geographically and culturally disparate, which merge unexpectedly’ (Guardian)

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She was here for her protection, protection against her own foolishness and protection against worry about things like Ransley's dog; and she was working to overcome these disadvantages. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A voice of great gentleness and a humour that lacerates. Studied erudition and the simple pleasure of comradeship. A past which stretches and contracts. Archie Markham’s writing displays a wonderful and wonderfully readable complexity which can leave you heartened, sad and happily baffled.
Pewter Stapleton is a man with restless boot heels. From a childhood in the Caribbean he’s been moving ever since, gravitating from one place to the next as a patchwork past emerges. Markham picks up on the threads which run through Pewter’s life and somehow intertwine, snatches of a past time crystallize and dissolve, refocusing again in a different timeframe.
The sense of distance that defines the hero’s life comes through in the text, there’s a migratory feeling as one memory disperses to make way for another. The effect is moving and sad, but this is no eulogy for a wandering or wasted existence, Markham’s humour and Pewter’s humaneness see to that. There is a defiant optimism in Mozambique, a sense of almost contrary euphoria that delights and saddens. I don’t quite know why I’m drawn to this book, and perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to it. Tindal Street have come up trumps.
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