In Shell, Olive Senior continues her ongoing investigation of the natural world, the nature of poetry and the power of her Caribbean heritage. She is our guide through realms of miniature elegance, those of shells in their abundant manifestations. With her grace, generosity and world-renowned lyricism, Senior gives us hen's eggs as hymns, molluscs as metaphors, shells of all kinds -- sometimes fragile, sometimes unyielding -- as home, as womb, as token and as totem. Ultimately, she places these shells, small and delicate, at the heart of the Jamaican cane fields, revealing a history rich with culture and haunted by slavery. These are Senior's most powerful and affirming poems to date.
About the author
Olive Senior was born in Jamaica in 1941. She lives both there and in Canada. Her first collection of short stories, Summer Lightning (1986), won the Commonwealth Literature Prize. She has published two subsequent collections of short stories, The Arrival of the Snake Woman (1989) and The Discerner of Hearts (1995). She has two collections of poems, Talking of Trees (1985) and Gardening in the Tropics (1995). She has written on different aspects of Caribbean culture and was editor of Jamaica Journal.