No Pain Like This Body

No Pain Like This Body

The forgotten classic masterpiece of Trinidadian literature


'A masterpiece of hurt' New York Times


In the Caribbean, at the beginning of the last century, a poor rice-growing family struggle to exist. Four siblings pass their days in the ricefield, as does Ma. But Pa is an angry man ready to vent. It is the August rainy season and above their heads the black sky crackles with lightning.

On the day that Pa nearly drowns Ma in a tub of washing water, the children and their mother escape into the cane fields to wait out Pa's rage. But eight-year-old Rama, catches a chill in the rain and falls ill. What follows is a tale of the inheritance of loss. It contains a heart-stopping intensity that places it as one of the greatest Caribbean novels ever written.

'It is a novel unconcerned with anything but truth-telling' Dionne Brand

'To anyone who knows Caribbean literature his novel is infamous, and Ladoo is seen as one of the region's great literary stars' Independent

'Ladoo drags you through this terrific hurricane, and you can never forget it' Amanda Smyth, author of Fortune


  • I have read the book several times and it is my favourite novel written by a Trinidadian novelist hands down. It deserves to be known
    Monique Roffey, Independent

About the author

Harold Sonny Ladoo

Harold Sonny Ladoo was born in Trinidad in 1945 and emigrated to Toronto in 1968 with his wife and two children. In 1972 he graduated from the University of Toronto and his first novel, No Pain Like This Body, was published, earning Ladoo immediate recognition as a new literary talent. The following year he returned to Trinidad to settle a land dispute but was murdered. He was just twenty-eight. His second novel, Yesterdays, was published posthumously in 1974.
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