Jamaican-born Olive Senior is the prize-winning author of a dozen books of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Her short story collection Summer Lightning won the inaugural Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, and her poetry collection Over the Roofs of the World was a finalist for the 2005 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry. Senior’s new collection of stories, The Pain Tree (Cormorant Books) is wide-ranging in scope, time period, theme, locale, and voice. The stories range over at most a hundred years, from around the time of the Second World War to the present. As with Senior’s her earlier stories, Jamaica serves as the setting, but the range of characters presented are universally recognizable as people in crisis or on the cusp of transformation.