Harold Sonny Ladoo was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1945 and moved to Toronto with his wife and son in 1968. He was working on the final volume of a planned trilogy spanning life in the Caribbean and Canada when he was found dead in the summer of 1973 beside a road in Trinidad. The first volume, No Pain Like This Body, was reissued in 2003 with an introduction by Dionne Brand.
The Dept. of English at the University of Toronto at Mississaugua (Erindale College) has established the Harold Sonny Ladoo award for creative writing, in celebration of Ladoo, a former student and graduate. (photograph by Graeme Gibson)
No Pain Like This Body
Toronto: Anansi, 1972.
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In the Indian settlements of Carib Island, the struggle of death and vitality is a daily experience. Seen through the eyes of a child that struggle is strange, terrifying, and utterly engrossing.
No Pain Like This Body traces the events that change the life of one family during the rainy season of August. The style is pungent and apparently naive; the events are among the central human rituals. The result is a simplicity which often sears.
Toronto: Anansi, 1974.
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Yesterdays is a bawdy, outrageously funny novel of West Indian life, detailing young Poonwa’s attempt to launch a Hindu Mission to Canada. He is driven less by religious fervor than by a need for revenge against the blonde Canadian woman sent to bring Christian salvation and suffering to the Heathen on the Island.
Selected Criticism and Interpretation
Kandiuk, Mary. “Harold Sonny Ladoo.” In Caribbean and South Asian Writers in Canada: A Bibliography of Their Works and of English-language Criticism. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2007, 69-71.
PS8089.5 .C37 K36 2007