Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Morning in the Office by Edgar Mittenholzer

Read this book for the first time about 30yrs ago (frightening how time flies by!) and was so taken with it-- I kept renewing it for over a year...and seriously fought with my conscience about returning it (after not finding it in the bookstores)! So was quite thrilled to see a republished version in the only bookshop in Guyana.
Not quite as I remembered it though. The writer uses the events of one morning to illustrate the different dispositions, interactions and aspirations of the different classes, sexes and races of the people working in a 1950s Trinidadian office. What a sentence!
Call me elitist but sadly the most repressed, reprehensible and least-likely-for-leadership characters seem to be dead-ringers for some leaders, past and present, in the Caribbean: Benson, who's on the 'take', Jagabir who's uncertain of his position and resorts to underhand snooping and scheming and Xavier the working-class pure Negro who develops a chip on his shoulder. Very insightful writer..shame the politicians didn't read this before they dragged us all down into the mess they created. Writer is Guyanese in the time when Guyana led the Caribbean in literacy and promise.

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