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The Worm Hole Podcast Episode 78: Eleanor Shearer (River Sing Me Home)

Charlie and Eleanor Shearer (River Sing Me Home) discuss how slavery didn’t really end when it was abolished, and Eleanor’s experiences studying the Caribbean during this time and the knowledge she gained. We also explore different versions of freedom, and the way Eleanor’s family influenced her writing.

The Windrush Foundation
Samuel Smith’s To Shoot Hard Labour
Toni Morrison’s Beloved
Marianne Hirsch
V S Naipaul’s The Loss Of El Dorado
Wikipedia’s extensive article on Black Nova Scotians
Andrea Levy’s Small Island

Release details: recorded 2nd June 2023; published 10th July 2023

Where to find Eleanor online: Website || Twitter || Instagram

You can contact the show at

Go back to the list of episodes


00:47 The ‘apprenticeships’ that happened after slavery had ‘ended’
02:47 About Eleanor’s two ‘main’ inspirations
06:23 On reparations
10:23 Rachel, and Eleanor’s family
15:41 The order in which Rachel finds her children
17:53 Nobody
21:21 The children’s fathers
23:42 The theme of motherhood
26:36 Eleanor’s wanting to use Creole languages but wanting to keep it accessible to non-Creole speakers
28:28 Mary Grace’s muteness
31:59 The oral storytelling
34:34 The different versions of freedom
37:30 The theme of water
40:24 The Maroon communities and their movements
42:27 The Rising of Demerara
45:57 Eleanor’s use of the search for El Dorado
47:34 What’s next?

Photo credit: Lucinda Douglas-Menzies.


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