From the award-winning author of The Polished Hoe comes this delightful memoir about the trials, joys, and ultimate disillusionment of a small Barbadian boy experiencing British colonialism in the 1940s. Alive with the warmth and colour of the Caribbean, singing with the lilting cadence of Barbadian speech, this is renowned author Austin Clarke’s own story–the story of the trails, joys, and ultimate disillusionment of a small Barbadian boy experiencing British colonialism in the 1940’s. Authentic and vivid, Growing Up Stupid Under the Union Jack details the life of a boy whose mother struggled against insurmountable odds, yet succeeded in giving her son the best available education. It is a dazzling account of a slow, dogged climb upward in a society whose rigid customs, rules and expectations were imported from England and accepted almost without question by the islanders. It is the story of a boy bent on making his mark in that society, despite the cruelty of British schoolmasters and the incongruity of studying for his Senior Cambridge examinations in a mango tree–his improvised study–in a vast field of sugar cane. Throughout this first volume of Clarke’s autobiography courses his irrepressible exhilaration with life itself, his deep delight in the antic humour of people who populated his childhood, and his unshakable pride in his heritage.