Set in Trinidad, the story is launched by the mythical tale of Guinea John, an ancestor of Blackpeople, who put two corn cobs under his arm pits and flew from a clifftop, away from the scene of his enslavement, back to Africa. His descendants have eaten salt, grown too heavy to fly, and cannot follow him. They are left to wrestle with their future on the island. Now, more than one hundred years after "Emancipation, " like all the people who share the island - Asians, Africans, and Europeans - they need to be weaned from old captivities and welcomed into the New World. Addressing the challenge of this liberating welcome are Alford George, schoolteacher turned politician; Bango Durity, laborer and activist; and a swirl of unforgettable men and women - minor characters of major proportions - telling their stories in their own voices; all striving with passion and wit to make sense of their lives in the still-young country where the roles of enslaved and landowner still linger, but "the sky, the sea, every green leaf and tangle of vines sing freedom."
Earl Lovelace was born in Toco, Trinidad, and has spent most of his life on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. His books include While Gods Are Falling, winner of the BP Independence Award, the Caribbean classic The Dragon Can't Dance, and Salt, which won the 1997 Commonwealth Writers Prize.