By Austin Clarke
When Mary-Mathilda, the most revered ladies of the island of Bimshire (also often called Barbados) calls the police to admit to against the law, the result's a shattering all-night vigil that brings jointly components of the island's African prior and the tragic legacy of colonialism in a single epic sweep.
Set within the West Indies within the interval following international struggle II, The Polished Hoe -- an Essence bestseller and a Washington put up booklet World so much necessary e-book of 2003 -- unravels over the process twenty-four hours yet spans the collective adventure of a society characterised via slavery.
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Extra resources for The Polished Hoe: A Novel
Constable, is there whatever in any respect i will provide you with? Cocoa-tea, or whatever? ” “A cup o’ cocoa-tea, please,” the Constable says. “I don’t more often than not drink cocoa-tea, yet as I on responsibility, ma’am . . . ” “Good! Cocoa, then. carry the Constable a pleasant glass of milk, Gertrude. He might mix-in the cocoa on his personal. I’ll have my traditional . . . ” The Constable, who's approximately twenty-two years outdated, has a head shaven virtually to its shining pate, as though it's purposely performed this fashion to slot the policeman’s height cap, issued too small. he's good-looking in his evening uniform of black serge tunic and trousers; “for the party, boy; for the grave occasion,” Sargeant had advised him; and beside him, at the ground, he has rested his cap, that has a purple band around the aspect. he's sitting up, in a straight-backed mahogany tub-chair; and is staring at Gertrude with one eye; and along with his different, omit Mary-Mathilda Bellfeels—he calls her omit Bellfeels, as she is understood within the Village—to see if she is gazing him watch Gertrude. Gertrude is. Well-built, no longer fats, yet with huge breasts, around face, huge brown eyes and a. Well-padded behind—a “big botsy,” he calls it. Gertrude’s dermis is like velvet, black and delicate. She is 5 toes seven inches. The Constable sees her as a really beautiful girl, for the 1st time, during this new gentle; yet prior to this night, and formerly, on his personal rounds, he may see her coming from Wednesday evening prayer conferences, and revival conferences, relatively in the course of Crop-Season; and in a majority of these years, he by no means had eyes for her; by no means checked out her with lust. as a result of pageant from different males, between them Manny who owns the Harlem Bar & Grill. So he went his method, and she or he hers. after which, on that Friday evening, whilst the yearly Harvest competition of the Church of the Nazarene, the place she used to be a Sister, ended, with the clapping and the shouting and the making a song and the attesting and the sound of the pleased tambourines overdue within the humid, sweating air and in her spirit, Constable observed Gertrude preserving Sargeant’s hand, coming into a box of canes. He appears at her now, as she comes into this front-house, two times the scale of the home during which he used to be born and nonetheless lives; dealing with him; the 2 of them thrown jointly during this nice apartment, with its shining flooring, whose wooden supply off the odor of freshly polished mahogany, and the scent of Hawes furnishings Polish; surrounding him with a odor of candy sexual sweetness he imagines coming from her; and he lowers his eyes to monitor her small, dainty ft, naked; exposed; now not wearing washercongs, or maybe Indian slippers. they're greased with coconut oil. convinced. it's the coconut oil that he smells. now not the polished mahogany furnishings, nor the Hawes furnishings Polish. Gertrude strikes silent as a cat, over the thick Persian carpets. He can see the sinews at the insteps of her ft; he can see how they alter shape while she walks; he sees the lighter color of epidermis of her heels, from the remainder of the wealthy black color of her instep. Dots of crimson nail polish, the color of blood, beautify 8 ft.