Review ofFor the Love of my Name

A Novel of Ideas

"The author has come close to writing a great Guyanese and West Indian novel... It is a rare kind, a novel of ideas. There are only a few of these. It is difficult to write such a novel because it must be first and foremost an exciting story. One recalls Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain the ultimate novel of ideas.

It is a characteristic of 'For the love of my Name' that it steadily puts one in mind of certain great works of the imagination. Let me hasten to say lest I give the impression that this novel is a boring tract. It is in fact a deeply moving and exciting story. Take for example the killing of Kamelia, the sugar worker, in history we know her as Kowsilia. I found it so moving that I had to put aside the book for two weeks or more before I could resume the reading with a quiet mind. But more important than individual incident is the humanity which shines through whether it is the difficult resolve of Marguerite Devonish, sister of ‘the President for life’ or the lyrical love story of Aasha and Vasu or the kindness of the poor and obscure who pay no attention to political and other divisions except to circumvent them. Creative Literature so often reaches a deeper truth than the historian.

For those of us who lived through those times the novel will give meaning to experiences which we just could not deal with at the time and which we have sought to put aside but with which we must now come to terms. When younger people ask about those days this is the novel from your own personal library, however small, that you will wish to put in their hands."