THE CHILDREN OF SISYPHUS. Introduction by Kwame Dawes
Patterson, Orlando.

Leeds, UK: Peepal Tree Press (Caribbean Modern Classics), 2012. 1st ed. (First published 1964) 8vo, wrps, 216 p., New Paperback 9781845230944 A bleak portrayal of life on the Dungle—the rubbish heap where the very poorest squat—this beautifully poetic, existentialist novel turns an unwavering eye to life in the Jamaican ghetto. Patterson was a sociology lecturer and reader of Camus, Sartre and Frantz Fanon who in some ways predicted the raggae revolution of the 1970s with this book. By interweaving the stories of Dinah, a prostitute who can never quite escape the circumstances of her life, and Brother Solomon, a respected Rastafarian leader who allows his followers to think that a ship is on its way to take them home to Ethiopia, this brutally poetic story creates intense and tragic characters who struggle to come to grips with the absurdity of life. As these downtrodden protagonists shed their illusions and expectations, they realize that there is no escape from meaninglessness, and eventually gain a special kind of dignity and stoic awareness about life and the universe. (Item ID: 153967)


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