Books

DOG-HEAD

Tales from the Neotropics

From a Caribbean island and the pursuit of a legendary boa constrictor, to the Belizean jungle and a fixation on the demise of the Maya civilization, to the Gulf of Honduras and a journey into ancestor worship, these tropical stories blend and explore history, religion, mythology, travel, mystery, illness, the nature of man, the nature of the beast, obsession, and the lure of discovery.

In Dog-Head, a rejected man on an island holiday sets out to capture a large snake despite his lack of experience or the fear the formidable reptile inspires in the local people.

In Remnants, a young couple on a Central American diving trip encounters a charismatic stranger whose intense obsession with the Maya civilization drives a wedge between them.

In Moho Bight, an injured American fisherman in Belize, grappling with a new state of mind, becomes involved with a local woman whose mysterious illness leads him to a remote village and into the tribal rituals of the Garifuna culture.

In each of these three fictions, travel and obsession mix into new forms that propel and endanger those susceptible to the lure of the exotic and the unknown, taking the reader with them into uncharted territory.

Field of Vision

Photographer Jake Mayfield, undertaking a personal quest for artistic integrity, finds beauty, passion, and racial discord on the lush and feral Caribbean island of Soufrière. On his first day there he has a run-in with Rollo Joseph, a dangerous pseudo-rasta whose presence haunts him both physically and psychologically as their conflict escalates by surprising yet almost inevitable degrees. Mayfield takes refuge in the company of Sheila Faber, the German proprietor of the Red Ginger Restaurant and Rooms, and in the arms of her employee Rita Blanford, a reticent native girl.

In a panorama of island life the story moves back and forth from the streets of Granville, the capital town and Rollo’s turf, to the verdant surroundings of the Red Ginger and the tropical forests of the island’s highest peak, to the ramshackle seaside village of Pagan Bay, as Mayfield’s journey spirals downward into paranoia and criminal tourism. Part existential adventure, part love story, told in the candid voice of an American antihero, this earthy and idiosyncratic novel is a descriptive and sometimes humorous account of man’s essential dilemmas, a microcosm of sex, war, and survival.