A rediscovered classic, Yesterdays turns colonialism on its head.
Originally published in 1974, Yesterdays is nominally the story of one man’s attempt to launch a Hindu Mission from Trinidad to convert the heathen Christians of Canada. Yet this conceit quickly derails into a ribald, outrageous portrait of West Indian village life, and a prescient, proto-parody of what would become the archetypal 'immigrant story.' Sacred cows both figurative and literal are skewered in a series of hilarious and increasingly bawdy encounters between villagers who gossip, cheat, and steal, but also form a balanced, if chaotic, collectivity.
Yesterdays is one of the great lost English-language novels of the previous century—perhaps ahead of its own time upon its initial release, but sure to appeal to 21st-century audiences who will appreciate its startling prescience, linguistic inventiveness, as well as its bold singularity amid a canon glutted with paint-by-numbers respectability.
"Yesterdays upends conventional narratives that find sexual liberation in the postindustrial city. Ladoo's agrarian villagers inhabit the fullness of their complex humanities in audaciously funny and often uncomfortable ways, and are radically at ease with their fluid sexual appetites. An under-appreciated gem, his novel is as much a testament to Ladoo's skillful observation and rendering of the world that surrounded him as it is to the value of being tellers of our own stories." – Andil Gosine, author of Nature's Wild: Love, Sex and Law in the Caribbean