I've Been Meaning to Tell You by David Chariandy

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You, a slim but touching missive to his teenage daughter. It opens with three dramatic events: President Trump’s election, a fatal shooting at a Canadian mosque and the casual racism of a white Canadian who cut in front of the dark-skinned Chariandy with the searing words, “I’m from here. I belong here.”

Struggling to counsel his daughter as she begins to face these modern realities, Chariandy turns to story—in this case, his own. He walks his daughter through the precarious and nurturing places, both geographic and psychic, that have marked his life. But this is no self-seeking memoir of struggle. Chariandy recounts the taunts he faced as a child alongside the history of slavery and indentured labor that brought his ancestors to Trinidad from Africa and South Asia. The result is a remarkable story of place and relation, of ancestry and association. In turn damning and hopeful, I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You reminds us of the deep history and connectedness of all human life.”

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