Listen to an Introduction of Within Different Perspectives
Mama Trinidad is a two-part novel. Part One, “Cemetery without Grave,” is a graphic presentation of the hours leading to the death, in 2003, of seventy-year-old Wilfred Davis, a successful but displaced immigrant from Trinidad to Canada. We watch Wilfred’s evolution from his early life of penury to his years as a primary school teacher in Trinidad, then his undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto in the sixties which lead to life as a high school teacher of English and finally retirement in East Toronto.
An outsider from birth, Wilfred never manages to overcome the complexes that harass him from his childhood as the son of a Grenadian washerwoman seduced by his profligate, middle class father for whose family she does the laundry. His mother, Miss Mattie, is the dominating influence in Wilfred’s youth, monitoring his conduct and interfering in his relationships where she sees fit.
Besides his mother, his steadiest relationship is with the written word. A prize in a CBC short story contest sets him on a literary career which never flags but receives no encouragement from publishers. On the morning of his death, one of his final acts is checking his mail box for that elusive letter of acceptance from a publisher. This unpublished manuscript “A Long, Long Wake without Rum” forms the second part.
Part Two explodes into the epic sweep and magical tint of the birth and youth of Asoma Valdez, son of a rebel Venezuelan general hiding out in Trinidad and his working class concubine.