The Far Journey of Oudin

Wilson Harris
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ISBN 9780571269150 Format Paperback
Published 15/04/2010 Length 136 pages

About Book

Set like his first novel in The Guyana Quartet in the former colony of British Guiana, the second novel The Far Journey of Oudin is further proof of the intensity and originality of Wilson Harris's imaginative power and literary skill. Against a background of swamp, jungle and savannah a strange drama is played out in which the chief characters are the money-lender Ram - an evil, presiding genius - the illegitimate Beti whom all men desire, and Oudin the beggar who works for several masters and belongs to none. Focusing on the traumatising effects of slavery on West Indian society, the novel depicts how the new-found freedoms and perceived social progress experienced by former peasants mask the fact that the old master-slave structure is reasserting itself among the descendants of an exploited people.
  • About Wilson Harris

    Wilson Harris was born in 1921 in the former colony of British Guiana. He was a land surveyor before leaving for England in 1959 to become a full-time writer. His exploration of the dense forests, rivers and vast savannahs of the Guyanese hinterland features prominently in the settings of his fiction. Harris's novels are complex, alluding to diverse mythologies from different cultures, and eschew conventional narration in favour of shifting interwoven voices. His first novel Palace of the Peacock (1960) became the first of The Guyana Quartet, which includes The Far Journey of Oudin (1961), The Whole Armour (1962) and The Secret Ladder (1963). He later wrote The Carnival Trilogy (Carnival (1985), The Infinite Rehearsal (1987) and The Four Banks of the River of Space (1990)). His most recent novels are Jonestown (1996), which tells of the mass-suicide of a thousand followers of cult leader Jim Jones; The Dark Jester (2001), his latest semi-autobiographical novel, The Mask of the Beggar (2003), and one of his most accessible novels in decades, The Ghost of Memory (2006). Wilson Harris also writes non-fiction and critical essays and has been awarded honorary doctorates by several universities, including the University of the West Indies (1984) and the University of Liège (2001). He has twice been winner of the Guyana Prize for Literature.

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