Harold Sonny Ladoo

No Pain Like This Body
  • No Pain Like This Body

  • 'A masterpiece of hurt' The New York Times

    Set in the Eastern Caribbean at the beginning of the twentieth century, No Pain Like this Body describes the perilous existence of a poor rice-growing family during the August rainy season. Their struggles to cope with illness, a drunken and unpredictable father, and the violence of the elements end in unbearable loss.

    Through vivid, vertiginous prose, and with brilliant economy and originality, Ladoo creates a fearful world of violation and grief, in the face of which even the most despairing efforts to endure stand out as acts of courage.

Harold Sonny Ladoo was born in Trinidad in 1945, the son of a peasant. He grew up in the Caribbean, working in the cane fields and on the boats. In 1968 he immigrated to Toronto, Canada with his wife and two children, and enrolled at Erindale College at the University of Toronto. He maintained a double life, studying and writing by day and working by night in a variety of restaurant jobs in order to support his family. In 1972 he graduated with a BA and in September House of Anansi Press published his first novel, No Pain Like This Body. This earned Ladoo immediate recognition as a new literary talent and he was awarded a writing bursary from the Canada Council which he used to finance his return to Trinidad in August 1973, to research further books. His trip was tragically curtailed when on 17 August he was discovered in a drainage ditch, having been brutally attacked. He died shortly afterwards, aged just twenty-eight. His second novel, Yesterdays, was published posthumously in 1974, and Canada lamented again the loss of a gifted writer. Harold Sonny Ladoo left behind him a large collection of manuscripts: two further novels, many short stories and poems.


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