The concern in Johnson's Sierra Leone Trilogy has been to return to, and re-frame, the years from the 1500s to the 1960s, and to do so by deploying con/texts in the Sierra Leone Krio heritage - with its remarkably elastic history of scatteration and re-grouping; its canon of anguish that is as much a tale from Shakespeare as it is a bolero for Quasimodo. In brief, Carnival of the Old Coast, Hand on the Navel, and Highlife for Caliban all negotiate, traffic and trade as necessary, into a quite complex cultural genealogy. It is a genealogy that is as much Yoruba as it is Afro-Portuguese; as much Liverpool and Hull as Nova Scotia and Jamaican Maroon. The product, too, of the coast of the Carolinas and of the Gullah islands, this carnival of a Krio identity is here answerable to its ancestry in Afro-Christian Shout as it is to the call of the Afro-Islamic Aku Krio mosques of Fourah Bay in the Eastend of Freetown. The result is "pedigree, with weight" - Hagar and Othello; Arabia Felix and Calypso and Buenos Aires. In Johnson's voice, it produces a strange familiarily - like "great hatred in a small house" - and a certain "defiance of figures in wood": "Call us Ishmael (if you please) or Barrabas/Habibatu or Zenobia. Cain, too./we take a count in figure and in sum,/no matter how hissed as injury into the ear./we barter coinage for coin/ and do not sink."
- Publisher : Africa World Pr; 1st edition (August 1, 1995)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 124 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0865434816
- ISBN-13 : 978-0865434813
- Item Weight : 6.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.25 x 8.5 inches