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Eric WalrondA Life in the Harlem Renaissance and the Transatlantic Caribbean$
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James Davis

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157841

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157841.001.0001

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Tropic Death

Tropic Death

Chapter:
(p.155) 5 Tropic Death
Source:
Eric Walrond
Author(s):

James Davis

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231157841.003.0006

This chapter discusses the varied dimensions of Walrond's short story collection, Tropic Death, as a compelling tome of black transnational fiction. The stories therein contain elements that confound the North American reader—his intended audience—even as they sought to assert the Caribbean experience. Walrond likewise abhorred what he felt was a tendency to disguise sociological tracts as novels, and instead introduced supernatural elements into plausible plots. In one sense then, Tropic Death delivered the “stunning blow” of an alternate Caribbean truth but, in another sense, it contested truth telling itself. In many ways Walrond pursued a certain literary fashion—ostentatious in its technique, elliptical in its storytelling—yet he also confounded convention, turning the Caribbean picturesque on its head, or more precisely on its ear.

Keywords:   Tropic Death, black transnational fiction, Caribbean picturesque, short story, North American reader, supernatural elements

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