John Hearne's Short Fiction
John Hearne was one of the first wave of West Indian writers to achieve international recognition in the 1950s and the first Jamaican author published by Faber and Faber. He was a contemporary of V.S. Naipaul, George Lamming, Roger Mais, Andrew Salkey and Samuel Selvon. Though Hearne’s novels are viewed as foundational Caribbean literature, they did not have the same traction as those of his contemporaries and his work is largely out of print. This collection brings together Hearne’s short stories in a single volume for the first time and makes his writing available to a new generation of readers.
Hearne felt his duty as a writer was to examine fundamental human truths rather than social politics or a nationalistic agenda and his short stories are exemplars of this intention. From his first published piece, the fable “The Mongoose Who Came to the City”, to his unpublished last story, “Reckonings”, this collection of critically acclaimed short stories is essential reading for any serious student of Caribbean literature or any reader seeking a broader understanding of the culture of the region in the early days of independence.
JOHN HEARNE (1926–1994) was the author of six novels, including Voices under the Window and The Sure Salvation. He was a columnist for the Jamaica Gleaner, and director of the Creative Arts Centre (now the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts), University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
SHIVAUN HEARNE manages editorial and production for the University of the West Indies Press. She is the author of John Hearne’s Life and Fiction: A Critical Biographical Study.