Papillote Press is delighted to bring back into print the acclaimed Caribbean classic novel The Orchid House by the important Dominican writer and politician Phyllis Shand Allfrey.

This edition comes with a new and insightful introduction by the Dominican scholar Dr Schuyler Esprit. In her conclusion Esprit writes, "The most endearing and significant appeal of this edition is that it returns Allfrey and The Orchid House to their rightful place in the annals of Caribbean literary history, as an authentic product of Dominica offered to the world."

Professor Lisa Paravisini-Gebert, Allfrey's biographer, also endorses its significance: "Beauty and politics - the two strands in Allfrey's love for her island - come together in The Orchid House to inspire one of the most original texts in Caribbean literature."

Phyllis Shand Allfrey was born in Dominica in 1908 and died here in 1986. As a young woman she lived in New York and London, but returned to Dominica in the early 1950s. She co-founded the Dominica Labour Party and was a Minister in the West Indies Federation. The Orchid House is her only novel. Her short stories (It Falls into Place) and collected poems (Love for an Island) are also published by Papillote Press.

The Orchid House tell the story of three white sisters who return to their Caribbean island home to find their family living in poverty and mental anguish. Each sister responds to the family's plight in different ways — seeking change through romance or politics or money. Intensely autobiographical, The Orchid House - which is set in Dominica between the two world wars - describes a colonial society in decay as seen through the eyes of the sisters' childhood nurse, Lally: "Beauty and disease, beauty and sickness, beauty and horror: that was the island."

Dominicans may remember the film of the book that was shot here in 1990 - with an international cast, including British actors Diana Quick and Elizabeth Hurley, and Jamaican Madge Sinclair, who played Lally. It was directed by the Trinidadian Horace Ové, and many Dominicans were involved in the film-making. The four-part series was shown on British TV in 1991 and is now available as a DVD. The book was first published in 1953, republished in 1982 but until now it has been out of print. for many years.

The launch will take place at the Barracoon Building (Roseau City Council offices) on 21 April, Thursday, at 6.00pm. The book will be on sale for EC$35, along with orchids by Green Mountain Flowers. All welcome. It will also be available at Jay's, Coco Rico, The Loft, Papillote Wilderness Retreat, Dominica Manufacturers' Assoc, Romance Cafe, Mero.

For more information contact or ring Polly Pattullo on 295 1563