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Book Review :: Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein

Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein book cover image

Guest Post by Kevin Brown

In Kevin Jared Hosein’s Hungry Ghosts, Hans Saroop is a hard-working husband and father in 1940s Trinidad. Unfortunately, that work doesn’t get him much money and results in even less social status. He and his family, as well as their friends, live in the Barrack, a pieced-together building with a roof that leaks so often they don’t bother to patch it and walls so thin everybody knows what is happening—for good and ill—in everybody’s lives. Above them, both literally and metaphorically, live Dalton and Marlee Changoor, a couple who have everything those in the Barrack wish they had. Hans and two of his friends work for the Changoors, a proximity that will lead to one crisis after another, revealing the temptation of power and the realities of poverty and lack of social standing. As the title conveys, there are characters who only live in the most literal sense, while those who are dead continue to affect the living, with no respite from their haunting. Hanging over the entire novel is the threat of violence that seems embedded in the nation’s history, especially the colonization and domination of the country that continues to weave its way through the residents’ lives, just waiting for the moment to return in full force.

Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein. Ecco, February 2023.

Reviewer bio: Kevin Brown has published three books of poetry: Liturgical Calendar: Poems (Wipf and Stock); A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press); and Exit Lines (Plain View Press). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again, and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels. Twitter @kevinbrownwrite or kevinbrownwrites.weebly.com/.

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