Only once in my whole life I travel a far distance by sea. Is when I make the voyage out from Trinidad to university in Ireland; from a way of seeing everything 'double': so one part you see the African-Trinidad way; the very same time you see story-book British. You cultured. A good word when you think what is milk culture. Thing so automatic, seem so necessary to respect you ain't even know you doing it, eh. Still it got this sour aftertaste. I move from that to seeing myself as 'other'. I telling you straight; was a singular experience. Take ten days or so from Trinidad to England. It begin a trip what carry me five hundred years. So when I hear the theme of this conference 'voyages', what come to mind is plunging seas, a grey ship, coming home. Talking my talk here today, it going be only about them seas. I dividing this into two: 1) How all them voyage I take, that emigration, how I suspect it shape what I writing; 2) That word, - woman, how it come too too clear aint no accident it mean what it mean. That also kneading the work.
Harris, Claire, Inside Passage, Kunapipi, 16(1), 1994.