Eric Walrond (1898 - 1966) injected a profound Caribbean sensibility into black literature. His work was closest to that of Jean Toomer and Zora Neale Hurston with its striking use of dialect and its insights into the daily lives of the people around him. Growing up in British Guiana, Barbados and Panama, Walrond first published Tropic Death to great acclaim in 1926. This book of stories viscerally charts the days of men working stone quarries or building the Panama Canal, of women tending gardens and rearing needy children. Addressing issues of skin colour and class, Walrond imbued his stories with a compassion for lives controlled by the whims of nature. Arnold Rampersad's introduction reclaims this classic work and positions Walrond alongside the prominent writers of his age.