Vivid, lyrical, harshly real and at times quite moving, Tropic Death presents a collection of short sketches from the Caribbean and Central America. The book was first published in 1926, at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, to high acclaim. The stories chart the days of men working stone quarries or building the Panama Canal, of women tending gardens and rearing needy children. Early on addressing issues of skin color and class, Walrond imbued his stories with a remarkable compassion for lives controlled by the whims of nature and oppressed by the effects of colonialism.
About the Author
Eric Walrond was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) to Barbadian parents and immigrated to New York from the Panamanian city of Colón. Walrond made a strong impression in 1920s New York. In addition to Tropic Death, he placed roughly 150 publications in nearly 40 periodicals in at least five countries. By the mid-1960s, however, the former Guggenheim Fellow had all but vanished into a quiet suburb north of London, working at an export firm near St. Paul's Cathedral. On a Monday in early August, four months before his 68th birthday, he died of a heart attack and was buried in Abney Park Cemetery.