At the age of five, Edgar Nkosi White was virtually kidnapped by an aunt from a relatively privileged existence in Montserrat to meet Uncle Sam and discover where the remittances came from the labour of women who worked for white families. There is the mystery of his mother who appears only when the aunt falls ill and the emergence of life shaped between expatriate Monserratians and African America that carries him towards the theatre in the USA and Britain.
There are periodic returns to Montserrat a sadly comic tale of a purloined family inheritance and the discovery of a father and his parents improbable relationship: a mother brought up in genteel idleness and a father from tough Kinsale, who ran the best damn gambling house in neighbouring Antigua. There follows a life-long struggle to work out how such a small island could generate so many contradictions, outsize characters and the capacity to survive the worst that nature could throw at her people. The answer, in part, lies in the island s mix of African and Irish heritage about which White has many pungently outrageous things to say.
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