Amryl Johnson

Sequins for a Ragged Hem

Sequins for a Ragged Hem


Sequins for a Ragged Hem narrates Johnson's return tour to Trinidad as a spiritual homecoming made problematic, among other reasons, by the fact that the house where she was born had been demolished.

Amryl Johnson came to England from Trinidad when she was eleven. In 1983 she set off for a six month journey in the Caribbean. From the moment she steps off the plane into 'carnival fever', we are caught up in the excitement of her journey: her reunion with her mother, the exhilaration of dancing all night to calypso on the streets of Port-of-Spain . . . But she cannot escape, nor wants to, from the inheritance of colonialism.

Her time in the Caribbean is also a journey of the self. The quest for memory is as powerful as the desire to escape. As her trip draws to a close, she describes with courage and eloquence her attempts to reunite the selves that have been separated by different cultures.