Crick Crack, Monkey:  by Merle  Hodge
128 pages, $15.50 list
Sales to North America (including the Caribbean) only
eBook availability
Crick Crack, Monkey
The cultural and linguistic complexity of postcolonial Trinidadian society is cleverly portrayed in this beautifully written West Indian novel. Hodge uses the voice of the central character, Tee, to tell a story that begins with two young children forced to live first with their aunt Tantie and then with Aunt Beatrice. Tantie’s world overflows with hilarity, aggression, and warmth. Aunt Beatrice’s Creole middle-class world is pretentious and exudes discriminatory attitudes toward people of color in the lower classes.

As we follow Tee from childhood to young adulthood, we share the diversity and richness of her struggle to exist in two worlds, fit in with relatives and classmates, learn from differing cultures, and carve out her identity. In addition to Hodge’s powerful, evocative writing and messages, readers are treated to an insightful introduction and study questions, written by Roy Narinesingh, that prompt fruitful discussions of postcolonial issues.
“I am delighted to learn that Hodge’s beautiful novel has been reissued in an inexpensive, highly readable edition by Waveland. Few works express so lucidly and in such a sublime manner the cultural nexus of the Anglophone Caribbean—particularly in Trinidad—as Crick Crack, Monkey does. This book should become a staple text in university courses on Caribbean literature, world literature, or international women’s literature.” — John Gery, University of New Orleans

“The new and handsome edition of Crick Crack, Monkey is a blessing. It is intellectually and pedagogically brilliant to have it back in print.” — Houston Baker, Vanderbilt University

“This highly teachable Caribbean classic needed to be back in print, and I am grateful that Waveland Press brought it back. Hodge’s novel has not lost any of its relevance and remains an artful expression of the impact of ‘race’ and colonialism on identity formation.” — Martin Japtok, Palomar College

Crick Crack, Monkey is both moving and funny, a ‘hit’ with students of postcolonial and British Commonwealth literature, and one that leads them to profound insights about the experiences of cultural and racial conflicts. Crick Crack, Monkey merits serious critical attention.” — Laverne Nishihara, Indiana University East

“I have taught this novel in classes for years and view it as one of the best Caribbean novels ever written. It is a fictional account of the traumas associated with British colonial education that is as sophisticated as any theoretical analysis or sociological study of these issues. I am happy to see this text back in print.” — Catherine John, University of Oklahoma