James DavisFeb 24, 2016
A Life in the Harlem Renaissance and the Transatlantic Caribbean
Columbia University Press 2015
This terrific book follows the itinerary of Eric Walrond's peripatetic life. Born in Guyana in 1898, Walrond lived in Barbados, Panama, New York, Paris, London. As a writer and sharp observer of those around him, he produced trenchant critiques of racial dynamics, imperialism, and labor relations in short stories, journalism, essays, and historical narratives. His book Tropic Death (1926), a searing rendition of Caribbean life, was widely read. Yet he struggled toward the end of his life as he became increasingly isolated both professionally and socially. In Eric Walrond: A Life in the Harlem Renaissance and the Transatlantic Caribbean (Columbia University Press, 2015), James Davis draws on numerous and surprising sources to build a complex but eminently readable portrait of this man, his work, his friends and acquaintances in diasporic communities of the transatlantic Caribbean.