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Book details
  • Genre:DRAMA
  • SubGenre:Caribbean & Latin American
  • Language:English
  • Pages:350
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543950045

With Slight Pepper

by Sherwyn Besson View author's profile page

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With Slight Pepper chronicles the social education of Ronald "Tulum" Jones, as he navigates an intricate childhood to adulthood experience, having grown up in a conservative household and national culture that romanticized horn, a uniquely Trinidadian infidelity. His emigration to Valley Stream, United States would change the trajectory of the émigré's life as he sidesteps, hurdles, and runs head-first into a visceral and complex American landscape of people, relationships, and circumstances, confronting contemporary issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality.
With Slight Pepper details the social education of Ronald "Tulum" Jones, as he navigates childhood to adulthood, having grown up in a conservative household and national culture that romanticized horn, a uniquely Trinidadian infidelity. Ronald's early experience with Trini-horn saw him tragically and violently lose his close mentor in a love triangle. Later, he discovered sexual voyeur and disappointment when he stumbled upon, respected neighbor, Mrs. Joseph losing her religion to her husband's footballing apprentice. Very early in his sexual awakening, Ronald tasted the betrayal and bitterness that resulted from horn's spurn after discovering his first girlfriend's unfaithfulness. In spite of the experience, he stuck to the conservative underpinnings instilled by his parents, believing in the best of people. At the completion of his tertiary education, he benefitted from the luck of the United States immigration lottery, and migrated to Valley Stream where he resided with his uncle and aunt, Cyrus and Tricia Jones. The émigré pursued an education major by day, and a professionally-accomplished, Columbian divorcee by night. His uncle's Latin neighbor, schooled the young Ronald in the intimate arts, a competency that brought him confidence and credibility. The relationship would pose a moral dilemma for the straight-shooter caught between his eroding ideals and his evolving desires. Mentored by his uncle's henpecked, liberal mentee, Professor Michael "Fess" West, Ronald would see his new landscape through the prism of a man whose ethos prioritized pleasure, even horn, and although they would butt heads over lifestyle philosophies, both men appreciated the mutual curiosity for life and its offerings. Making up another dimensions of Ronald's life is his friendship with Marvin, a standard, Jamaican expatriate, who shared his struggles of fatherhood and an uncommon experience of cheating. Under Principal Melanie Palmer, Ronald experiences the complex nature of a mature, educated, and powerful African-American woman, eventually realizing that men can be prey. The racial underbelly of New York City's education system is exposed, forcing Ronald to take evasive professional measures in his teaching career. Soon, he meets and engages single-mother and school teacher, Karen James, his love interest, for the remainder of the story. Ronald develops a close relationship with Karen's daughter, Chante, while fashioning a meaningful relationship with her mother, an enigma. As their relationship grew then waned, Ronald confronts his highest consciousness. Thalia, aka Becky, would prove an interesting distraction as Ronald exited his relationship with Karen, only to be later pulled back by gravity. Just when he thought he escaped all things Karen, the uncertainty of life happened.
About the author
Sherwyn Besson is a Trinidad-born, American educator and author. With Slight Pepper is his third novel. Besson teaches Business Education with the New York City Department of Education. He lives in New York with his wife and children.
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