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Monday, August 29, 2005

on maharaj's perfect pledge philip marchand

A Perfect Pledge
by Rabindranath Maharaj
Knopf Canada, 401 pages, $32.95

With the publication of the latest novel by Ajax's Rabindranath Maharaj, the cane fields of his native Trinidad have become as much a province of the Canadian imagination as the Montreal of Mordecai Richler, the Vancouver Island of Jack Hodgins, the Toronto suburbs of Barbara Gowdy, even the Bombay of Rohinton Mistry.

A Perfect Pledge is a novel that examines a Trinidadian village with the same merciless eye as those great naturalistic novels of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the same ugly details of everyday life in the foreground, the same sense of people struggling against an environment destined to crush them.

Philip Marchand


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