The Wine of Astonishment Additional Summary

Earl Lovelace


(Literary Essentials: African American Literature)

Booker, M. Keith, and Dubravka Juraga. The Caribbean Novel in English: An Introduction. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann, 2001. Overview and analysis of The Wine of Astonishment, as well as seventeen other significant texts in the history of the anglophone Caribbean novel.

Cudjoe, Selwyn. “A Critical Analysis of the Works of Earl Lovelace.” Trinidad and Tobago Review 6, no. 10 (1982): 14-15. Contends that the thrust of the novel is to counterpose the badjohn/warrior tradition to the intellectual/scholarly tradition. Criticizes Lovelace for not making a more comprehensive analysis of the social forces that cause the breakdown of the society. Faults the text for not adopting a socialist perspective on the problems of the society.

Green, Jenny. “Lovelace’s Wine of Astonishment.Trinidad and Tobago Review 6, no. 4 (1982). Points out that Lovelace deals with the significance of history and roots as well as the implications of social reliance on the intellectual. Lovelace is able to capture the voice of the people in his use of the language. Green sees the characters as symbols of forces at work in Trinidadian society.

Lowhar, Syl. “Ideology in The Wine of Astonishment: Two Views.” Trinidad and Tobago Review 10, nos. 11-12 (1988): 41-43. Taking a historical approach to the novel, Lowhar sees the major events of the novel as having their parallels in the actual history of the society and explores the implications of these events.

Thorpe, Marjorie. “In Search of the West Indian Hero: A Study of Earl Lovelace’s Fiction.” In Critical Issues in West Indian Literature: Selected Papers from West Indian Literature Conferences, 1981-1983, edited by Erika Sollish Smilowitz and Roberta Quarles Knowles. Parkersburg, Iowa: Caribbean Books, 1984. Argues that the “search for a hero-figure establishes the basis of Earl Lovelace’s four published novels.” Insists that Lovelace makes the distinction between false heroes, whom the society esteems, and true hero-figures, whom the novelist celebrates.

Thorpe, Marjorie. Introduction to The Wine of Astonishment, by Earl Lovelace. London: Heinemann, 1986. Notes the literary advantages of choosing Eva as a narrator of his novel. Argues that Lovelace focuses on the theme of betrayal. The Wine of Astonishment celebrates a people’s struggle for freedom and dignity as human beings. It speaks to “the oppressed everywhere.”