Breanne McIvor

Cindy Seip

Breanne McIvor studied English at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh. She has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the Glimmer Train Fiction Open, the Fish One-Page Prize and the Derek Walcott Writing Prize. In 2015, she won The Caribbean Writer’s David Hough Literary Prize. Where There Are Monsters (Peepal Tree Press Ltd) is her first short story collection. The Trinidad of these stories is utterly contemporary, but also a place defined by its folk mythologies and its cultural creations, its traditions of masking and disguises. These stories confront the increasing economic and cultural divisions between rich and poor, the alarming rise in crime, murders and an alternative economy based on drug trafficking. The figure of the loup-garou, the violent rhetoric of the Midnight Robber – or even cannibalism lurking far off the beaten track – have become almost comic tropes of a dusty folklore. In McIvor’s stories they become real and terrifying daylight presences, monsters who pass among us. In these carefully crafted stories, with room for humor, though of a distinctly gothic kind, Breanne McIvor reaches deep into the roots of Trinidad folk narratives to present us with very modern versions of our troubled selves.