Wilson Harris: Heartland


The latest addition to my website is Wilson HarrisHeartland. This book is a follow-up to the Guyana Quartet, with three of the characters from the Quartet – Da Silva, Kaiser and Mariella – appearing in this book. Zechariah Stevenson Jr’s father, also called Zechariah, had a successful mining company, which went bankrupt when its Brazilian accountant, Camacho, fled with a large sum of money. As Stevenson Jr had been having an affair with Camacho’s wife, who also disappeared, he is somewhat implicated, but avoids any repercussions, when his father’s body is found in the river, an apparent suicide. Stevenson Jr claims that he is innocent as regards the fraud. He is now working as a watchman for a wood grant by the Kamaria Falls. When his boat disappears – accident or stolen? – and the food left by Kaiser (responsible for supplying the men working in the area) for Da Silva disappears, Stevenson sets out to the falls to find Kaiser. However, he doesn’t find Kaiser but he does find Da Silva’s body and a pregnant Amerindian woman, whom he assists while she gives birth (and then disappears). What Harris, is concerned with, as usual, is the power and mystery of the jungle and its inhabitants as well as, in this case, Stevenson’s guilt over his father’s death and the fraud. This is only a short book but Harris carries on successfully where he left off in the Guyana Quartet.

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