Forthcoming Book: “Suite as Sugar” 

Suite as Sugar (Rare Machines/Dundrun Press, April 2023) is a new novel by Camille Hernández-Ramdwar.

Ifeona Fulani (author of Ten Days in Jamaica) writes, “Whether in Trinidad, Canada or Cuba the characters in these stories inhabit the margins of their societies, some in search of easier ways to make money, refusing to even try to be part of a system that does not want them, while others struggle for significance and survival in brutal environments. In the five vignettes that give the collection its title, Suite as Sugar, the themes that connect the stories in the collection converge in a powerful, resonant climax. Camille Hernández-Ramdwar is a talented storyteller with a gift for acute social observation and a clear eye for cultural contrasts.”

Description: Suite as Sugar is a testimony to the unseen forces, always vigilant, ever ready, imbuing the characters in this collection with both resilience and trauma.

From Winnipeg winterscapes to Toronto’s condo culture, from Havana’s haunted streets to Trinidad’s calamitous environs, the stories in Suite as Sugar are permeated with the violence of colonial histories, personal and intimate, reflecting legacies of abandonment and loss. The veil between the living and the dead is obscured, chaos becomes panacea, and characters take drastic measures into their own hands.

Survivors of all kinds seek strategy and solace: a group of homeless people organize an occupation of vacant condos, a new resident to a disturbing neighbourhood tries to make sense of madness, a dog investigates the sudden disappearance of his owner. The five intertwined vignettes in the title story are set in a Caribbean country where the spectre of the sugar plantation haunts everyone. Tying this collection together is the casual brutality of our everyday lives, whether seen through the eyes of animal, spirit, or human being.

Camille Hernández-Ramdwar is a multi-racial, multicultural, multilingual, and transnational writer and scholar. The veil between the corporeal and the incorporeal is very thin in her work, which explores the search for belonging; the collective violences of neo-colonialism, poverty, racism, sexism, and other injustices; and the important interrelationship between matter and spirit. She divides her time between Toronto and Trinidad and Tobago.

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