LOVE HAS TWO MOONS
by Franklin Mohan
Love Has Two Moons is a novella followed by Other Stories, the first collection by Franklin Mohan. The central theme of the four stories in this collection is about racial attitudes affecting peoples of Caribbean origin in settings in Canada and the West Indies. The common thread among them: prejudice is fed by ignorance of the humanity of other races, and when the characters become intimately familiar with one another, they realize that differences among tribes are but superficial and can pave the way for mutual respect and acceptance. Although fictional, the stories draw upon the author’s observance of events witnessed when he lived, studied and worked in various localities in Canada and the USA, and in the Caribbean islands of Jamaica, Barbados, and in Trinidad where he spent his childhood and early teenage years. The author uses humour to illustrate subtleties in racial differences and similarities with instances that engender emotional responses from the reader.
NOVELLA: Love Has Two Moons It’s been ten years since his wife passed away, and now Ram, tells his son Charlie that his first love on the island of Trinidad was not Charlie’s mother! To add to Charlie’s consternation, he finds out that his father has now made contact with the woman, Jing, and even though it’s decades later, they are planning to meet again in Miami. The perplexed Charlie insists on hearing the full story of his father’s first love. How Charlie reacts on hearing the story and how the planned reunion between Ram and Jing turns out, proves to be a captivating story for all ages.
SHORT STORY: Bonobo The Beater Earning an education in the islands was never easy in colonial times when the entire system was predicated on a method of Do as I say. Teachers, like Bonobo The Beater were specialists in the art of physical intervention on students to ensure they saw the error of their ways. On one particular day, Charlie Bhat and his erstwhile pal, Goady, will find out what it’s like when they come under Bonobo’s scrutiny for a minor transgression. The effects of this encounter will be long-lasting.
SHORT STORY: Oh God, I’m Black Byron McQueen, an avowed racist in a small island in the Caribbean where Whites dominate the economy and are still at the top in the hierarchy, has to come to terms with his prejudices when he is subjected to a forced chemical change. How he responds during this time and how others react to him, will leave the reader either jumping for joy or apoplectic.
SHORT STORY: The Visit A couple—he of East Indian background from Trinidad—nervously await the arrival of the wife’s father, a farmer from rural Saskatchewan, whose perceptions of coloured people comes mainly from National Geographic documentaries, and who was violently opposed to the marriage in the first place. This is the father’s first visit to celebrate the birthday of the mixed couple’s daughter whom he has never seen. How it has played out over the past eleven years of their marriage and how it ends on The Visit forms the basis for this enchanting tale of racism and cultural divide.
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