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Suspended Sentences

Suspended Sentences

When a group of graduating students is caught vandalizing an Guyanese club, their punishment is to write a short story about newly independent Guyana. This book includes these stories, which work like Chaucerian tales to reveal their teller as well as to chart the history and fut... read full description below.

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ISBN 9781845230012
Published 13 July 2005 by Peepal Tree Press Ltd
Format Paperback, New title
Author(s) By McWatt, Mark
Availability Internationally sourced (on backorder); allow 4-8 weeks

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781845230012
ISBN-10 1845230019
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced (on backorder); allow 4-8 weeks
Publisher Peepal Tree Press Ltd
Imprint Peepal Tree Press Ltd
Publication Date 13 July 2005
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Paperback, New title
Edition New title
Author(s) By McWatt, Mark
Category Award Winning
Modern Fiction
Number of Pages 250
Dimensions Width: 136mm
Height: 206mm
Spine: 20mm
Weight 304g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
NBS Text General & Literary Fiction
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code FIC
Catalogue Code Not specified

Description of this Book

A group of sixth formers vandalize an exclusive Georgetown club on the day of their school leaving, coincidentally also the day of their country's independence. Several of their parents think a lesson is in order and the semblance of a trial is organized. The sentences they are given are suspended provided that they fulfil the task set by their English teacher, who has interceded on their behalf. Each must write a short story that says something about the newly independent Guyana. Years later, Mark McWatt, one of the group, is handed the papers of his old school friend, Victor Nunes, who has disappeared, feared drowned, in the Guyanese interior. The papers contain some of the stories, written before the project collapsed when the group realized the trial was a hoax. As a tribute to Victor Nunes, McWatt decides to collect the rest of the stories from his friends. Suspended Sentences is a tour-de-force of invention. The stories, entertaining in their own right, whether supposedly written by eighteen year olds or in later adult life, work not only like Chaucerian tales to reveal their teller, but have an affectionately satirical take on the nature of Guyanese fiction making. By ranging across Guyanese ethnicities, gender and time in the purported authorship of these stories, McWatt creates a richly dialogic work of fiction. And when McWatt apparently slips some of his own biography into a brilliantly comic story of betrayal (that ends in the victim's suicide), but told by another member of the group, the implications of the collection's subtitle, 'Fictions of atonement' become teasingly ambiguous.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

Awards Winner of Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best First Book 2006

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Author's Bio

Professor Mark McWatt was born in Guyana in 1947. He took his first degree at the University of Toronto, then went to Leeds University to complete a Ph.D. He is currently Head of the English Department at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus, Barbados. He has published two collections of poetry, 'Interiors' (1989) and 'The Language of Eldorado' (1994) that won the Guyana Prize. He has published widely in journals on aspects of Caribbean literature and is joint editor of the Oxford Book of Caribbean Poetry (2004).

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