Where There Are Monsters

Breanne Mc Ivor | Trinidad and Tobago

I’m always excited about short story collections written by Caribbean authors, but more so for books that are written about my culture since I’m intrigued to read how a writer’s interpretation aligns with my childhood experiences and memories. 

Breanne Mc Ivor has curated a strong collection of short stories that showcase her creativity, with modern versions on Trinidadian folklore characters, family and romantic relationships, while also pushing the cultural boundaries with explorations of mental health and homosexuality. More than anything, Mc Ivor examines the monstrosity that exists, not only in our folklore characters, but also in everyday people who more than likely want to hide these taboo side of themselves, or to prove that monstrous labels do not extend to them due to familial connections.

Mc Ivor does a great job reimagining her version of the stories of our folklore characters. I loved Robber Talk with his split personality and unapologetic actions. With Ophelia, she switches to highlight the societal plight of a young man who’s struggling with his feelings toward a young woman out of his league while dealing with financial hardships that are preventing him from pursuing her and his dream of studying acting.

Though her stories are dark they are not sinister and really gives a modern twist to some of the major folklore stories I grew up hearing. If you’re into Caribbean short stories by a contemporary writer, this is a great addition to your collection. 

Please view my interview with Breanne Mc Ivor, where we discussed her book Where There Are Monsters.

“The last word Lucifer heard was my name, a sound so terrible it stop he ear so that now the Devil sit in silence because I come to master the master…..Remember I am the one man make without fear. And if a Mocking Pretender like you dare to challenge me, the last sight you see is my eyes, dark and old, like soucouyant soul…”

-Breanne Mc Ivor
From the story Robber Talk

First Published: 2019
Instagram: @bremcivor

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