THE CHILDREN OF SISYPHUS by H. Orlando Patterson


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O what a life, what a worthless lousy, dirty life"" is the first line which introduces the submarginal existence of the creatures of the Dungle (read dunghill) in Kingston, Jamaica -- garbage men, hustlers, hawkers, etc. "" was so blasted stink,"" and Mr. Patterson, a native, has done little to minimize its graphic filth and violence from which there is no escape except in the politico-religious fantasia of Brother Solomon's Rastafarians, who pray to Emperor Selassie and beam Ethiopia as the Promised Land. This fable-novel concentrates primarily on the shortlived attempt of Dinah, a whore, to get away: she leaves Cyrus, her man; finds domestic work; becomes the chosen one of a Shepherd John (who heads another fraudulent revivalist group); is flagellated, raped and finally killed....Mr. Patterson's story is written in the thick dialect of his primitive Dungle people and subdues indignation to compassion solicited only indirectly; but however sincere it is, it must face the reality of reluctant, if not actively resistant readership.

Pub Date: April 7th, 1965
ISBN: 1845230949
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin