“The Mystic Masseur” by Gérard A. Besson and Caryl Philips

Essays about the Indian community in Trinidad & Excerpts from the Screenplay. A film by Merchant Ivory Productions.
By Gérard Besson and Caryl Phillips

In the second half of the 19th century, after slavery had been abolished in the British Empire, labourers from India were brought to work on the sugar plantations in Trinidad and in the southern Caribbean.  Many of them remained and the Indian community became an important presence in Trinidad. The story of the “Mystic Masseur” allows us a rare insight into the warmth and humour of these characters’ lives as the Indian community in Trinidad began to grow and prosper.

This book contains essays about the history of the Indian presence in Trinidad, compiled and written by Trinidadian historian Gérard Besson, a preface to the film and excerpts from the screenplay by Caryl Phillips after the novel by V.S. Naipaul, and location photographs from the shoot of “The Mystic Masseur” by Mikki Ansin, Parvena Hafizka, Roy Zipstein and Farouk Khan.