The Swinging Bridge

Written by on February 19, 2021

Mona, a film researcher rooted in Montreal, vividly remembers that night in Trinidad when her father, Da-Da, in a drunken rage, threatened to kill her nine-year-old brother, Kello. Years later, a terminally ill Kello asks Mona to revisit their native island and reclaim the property that their family had left behind. As Mona returns to the Caribbean to confront her family’s turbulent past, the reader travels back in time—to nineteenth-century India, to British Trinidad, where her ancestors lived as indentured workers in the cane fields, and finally to urban North America.

Steeped in the lyrical rhythms of Caribbean life, this exquisite, richly layered novel explores the immigrant experience with compassion and humour. It is a moving story of race and displacement, of love and betrayal, of endings and beginnings—a swinging bridge of the universal search for self.

Praise forThe Swinging Bridge

“Beautiful, luminous and an utter pleasure to read. A writer as necessary as Ramabai Espinet should be treasured by us for her unique voice and the unique world she shares with us.”—Jamaica Kincaid

“The Swinging Bridge is a sweeping story . . . of rich heritage—a blend of Indian and Caribbean sounds, scents and celebrations.”—NOW Magazine

“An extraordinary achievement in the exercise of remembering. . . . Highly charged with moral intent.”—George Lamming

By Ramabai Espinet

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