Philippa Perry was born and raised in the pre-independence days of British Guiana -- the only English speaking country in South America. She recounts her early days as the second daughter in a family of six children in a struggling middle class family.
Her stories come from a lost civilization of pre-independence stability just as the anarchic blessing of democracy came to the Caribbean.
She recounts her Sisyphean trials growing up a Carrington in Lot 10, First Street, Georgetown -- from the women's battles to the neighbours that never wore clothes to the relatives who walked with their shoes in their hands.
Philippa received her PhD in Psychometrics and became a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
She lectured in Mathematics at University of Guyana and subsequently, at Queens College (NY) for too many years.
Philippa has returned often to Guyana, but, these days, primarily for funerals. She currently resides in Pound Ridge, NY where she spends her time chasing deer from her garden.
Perry grew up in British Guyana, the second daughter in a middle-class family of six. Despite its socioeconomic standing, her family struggled with poverty and survived in part on the generosity of wealthier relatives. Perry weaves together vignettes of her neighbors and family, painting a rich portrait of a country on the cusp of change. While she touches on aspects of Guyana s independence, mostly she examines her own escape from poverty through education. Additionally, she contrasts her experiences with those of the country as it gained independence, giving readers a detailed portrait of a tumultuous time. Perry s prose boasts rich imagery and compelling rhythm. However, the individual stories which work well as discrete tales feel disconnected, and readers will have trouble understanding how they connect to form an overarching tale if an overarching tale was even intended. Readers will lose track of the characters and their connections to each other, but they will also appreciate the poignancy and drama of individual moments.