Country Focus: Guyana
By Oonya Kempadoo
Originally published by Dutton, 2000.
My edition: Plume, 1994.
Time period: 1970s
Notes: Kempadoo grew up in Golden Grove, Guyana. She has published two other novels, Tide Running (set in Tobago) and All Decent Animals (set in Trinidad).
“First we had to get rid of all the Saturday-morning dust and the dirt from all the hands that had touched them [newly purchased bras]. Watch them drying in the sun on the line, sparkling, swinging in the breeze, so new. And then at last to walk down the road with a brassière on. Strapped up and stiff like a harness, but not much to put in it. Racehorses, prancy-like. No feeling of shirt on your nipples, a hot space there instead. Looking down and seeing sharp points sticking the shirt out. And before that, the new figure in the mirror. Looked best with a loose white T-shirt with sleeves rolled up. Casual. We galloped around on the road all that evening, checking each other’s chests when we faced the wind.”