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Set ​on a troubled Caribbean island – where Asians, Africans, Americans and former British colonials co-exist in a state of suppressed hysteria – “Guerrillas” is a novel of colonialism and revolution. A white man arrives with his mistress, an English woman influenced by fantasies of native power and sexuality, unaware of the consequences of her actions. Together with a leader of the “revolution”, they act out a gripping drama of death, sexual violence, and spiritual impotence. “Guerrillas” depicts a convulsion in public life, and ends in private violence. Place and people are evoked with an intensity unrivalled elsewhere. The novel comes with extraordinary force from the centre of a profound moral awareness of the world’s plight. ‘Impeccable prose, precise, austere, modulating always from place to people to dialogue with a fastidious reserve. “Guerrillas” seems to me Naipaul’s Heart of Darkness: a brilliant artist’s anatomy of emptiness, and of despair’ – “Observer”.

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