IN THE CASTLE OF MY SKIN by George Lamming
Kirkus Star

IN THE CASTLE OF MY SKIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This young West Indian Negro has written an autobiographical first novel in melodious and moving prose which may rate it some comparison with Cry The Beloved Country. It reflects the problems of young Negroes, the world over, who are trying to establish themselves in a bewildering white world that for generations has rejected them as alien, primitive and fear-inspiring but in which they must earn their livelihood. The place is Barbados, ""Little England"" as the white school supervisor calls it. The background is the poverty and the almost insurmountable obstacles in the way of survival, the poetry and the laughter, and the series of anecdotes, from the bawdy to the infinitely sad, brings out the sense of the soundness, dignity and psychological well-being of the author's people. With his friends, Suck Me Toe, Trumper and Boy Blue, he examines the mystifying ways of the whites and their world, and through their watching eyes, that world is interpreted surprisingly. Against the pattern of escapades and inquiries which further the boys' education is the ground swell of folk philosophy and ancient recollection, poetically intoned by the village's oldest members, ""Ma"" and ""Pa"", whose backward pull into the safe and understandable ways of old strongly highlight the conflicts within the growing boys. This powerhouse of a book -- moving and gripping -- should attract the open-minded and unsqueamish, seriously interested in an honest portrait of another culture. 'Ware bluenoses.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1953
ISBN: 0472064681
Publisher: McGraw-Hill