Enrico Downer’s There Once Was a Little England Signing

Enrico Downer doubles down on his exploration of race set against historical backdrops with two new novels. Downer follows his first publication, “The Lure of America”, the true recounting of Barbadian immigrants in the 1950s and 1960s with two novels: “His Father’s Footsteps” and “There Once was a Little England”.

"There Once was a Little England", Downer's second publication, brings to life the true 1950s incident of a tragic killing that few remember today. A young son of a working-class family is shot and killed while trespassing on the private property of a Caucasian farmer. The righteous outrage of the Barbadian public escalates when one of their own, a barrister of African extraction steps forward to represent the killer whose defence was that he mistakenly saw a monkey in his cross-hairs.

There Once was a Little England“, Downer’s second publication, brings to life the true 1950s incident of a tragic killing that few remember today. A young son of a working-class family is shot and killed while trespassing on the private property of a Caucasian farmer. The righteous outrage of the Barbadian public escalates when one of their own, a barrister of African extraction steps forward to represent the killer whose defence was that he mistakenly saw a monkey in his cross-hairs.

While clearly influenced by that true incident, Downer’s “There Once was a Little England” is not an actual recounting but instead an allegorical fiction that borrows key elements from that case. The story seeks to examine the conflict that arises from a lawyer’s duty to a client he feels has sought to diminish and insult his race and the lawyer’s efforts later to court a working class that despises him when he later desperately needs their votes to pursue his political ambitions.

Downer describes “There Once was a Little England” as a story not solely about “race, murder and an addiction to social class” but a love story interwoven in a tapestry of tragedies.

"His Father's Footsteps", set in the 1950s, is a historical fiction/mystery that sees the young Barbadian protagonist vowing to bring to justice the murder of his womanising father, no matter the personal cost and no matter how long it takes. In pursuit of the one who killed his father he follows a trail that takes him from Barbados to the scene of the killing in New York and subsequently into the racist Deep South at the height of the racial divide in America.

His Father’s Footsteps“, set in the 1950s, is a historical fiction/mystery that sees the young Barbadian protagonist vowing to bring to justice the murder of his womanising father, no matter the personal cost and no matter how long it takes. In pursuit of the one who killed his father he follows a trail that takes him from Barbados to the scene of the killing in New York and subsequently into the racist Deep South at the height of the racial divide in America.

The author places a Barbadian in the centre of the racist heartland in the Deep South and examines his mindset and mettle as compared to his African American brothers as both confront the evils of racism.

Downer brings both novels to Barbados in print for the very first time with a signing on Thursday 22nd October 2015 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Chattel House Books in Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael.

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