“I wrote this story about the people who could have been my ancestors. Growing up, I was denied the truth about who we were as a people, and lived with false narratives of our heritage. Writing The Wisdom of Rain gave me a chance to explore what could have been the journeys of those who came long before me. Though fictionalized, this story is based on historical facts.” ~ E.P. Sam
On her thirteenth birthday, Mariama leans against her favourite baobab tree and daydreams, thrilled that the time has finally come for her Sande ceremony, when she will officially pass into womanhood. But then, rough hands tear her from her daydreams and violently toss her into a nightmare reality. She is forced onto the SS Archery, a slave ship that steals her from her home in West Africa and delivers her to the British colony of Demerary on the northern coast of South America.
The Wisdom of Rain is a sweeping tale of tragedy, loss, and inhumanity, but it is also a story of courage, love, and spirituality. It shows how these qualities can transcend and defeat servitude and suffering in the most trying circumstances. It is a novel that treasures and restores the past, breathing life into a forgotten time and place and revealing its hidden pathways to the present.
Research for The Wisdom Of Rain
In writing The Wisdom Of Rain, I consulted numerous books, scholarly articles, visited museums, and drew from my own experience of growing up on a sugar plantation on Demerara. Below are just a few of the sources from which I took inspiration:
- Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World; Trevor Burnard – The University of North Carolina Press
- Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade: David Eltis and David Richardson – Yale University Press
- Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World; David B. Davis – Oxford University Press
- The International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, England
- National Museum of African American History & Culture, Washington, DC, U.S.A.