My Grandmother’s Erotic Tales
Robert Antoni, Grove Press, 201 pgs

Our hearts are heavy and saddened by the loss of so many lives in the World Trade Center holocaust last week. As a writer and journalist, my life has been pretty much defined by breaking and heart-breaking news. I decided it was time to allow myself to begin the healing process and looked for a book that would help me find myself again.

My Grandmother’s Erotic Tales is just what the doctor ordered! I found myself laughing out loud in public places, something that seems pretty much out of order these days. These tales are absolutely hilarious, way out and very spicy—Caribbean style.

Senora Domingo is now a widow of some ninety-six years. She has survived the arrival of US and British troops on the tiny island of Corpus Christi during World War II and even rented them rooms in her house. She was a great storyteller who captivated her boarders many evenings over dinner with some of the most outrageous tales ever told. She kept the young soldiers out of trouble and close to home. In her twilight years her young grandson Johnny provides a most willing audience.

Antoni brings the flavor of Caribbean Creole and patois to us through the musing of Senora Domingo, like the time she found out she had been conned out of ten thousand dollars by the man who claimed to be the Kentucky Fried Chicken king, Colonel Sanders:

“And Johnny, when I came to my senses again and I realized that this terrible nightmare was real—that that chupidee Colonel had in fact thrown away my ten thousand Yankee dollars on another worthless old rusty up Dutch oven—I couldn’t help myself from firing a next shot of Pavo Salvaje and a next, and I didn’t slow down until my face was flat on the table in one of those same property of the US Army tin plates, out cold unconscious for the third time today!”

Antoni’s characters are alive and vibrant. A real motley crew. The Senora meets the King of Chacachacari who plans to bilk her out of her inheritance from her husband’s estate. When he arrives at her doorstep, she is shocked:

“When I reached at the door now I found this man dressed up like he was playing mas in Carnival. He had one big set of cloth wrapped up around he head like if somebody started to make a mummy and only reached by the ears. With a big ruby upon the forehead flashing, and earrings dangling, and rings, rings, rings, each with a jewel—diamonds and rubies and things—but not on the fingers, only on the little fatty toes! And I figured those rings must have been made special for those dirty toes, because you have never seen such funny little things, only looking like shortie fat blood-puddings struggling to squeeze out the skin.”

It seems that there is always someone trying to take advantage of the Senora, but she isn’t as naïve as they think and she has plenty of folk to help her pull off her counter-schemes. There is her neighbor Mrs. Carmichael, her daughter Gregoria la Rosa and Olly just to name a few.

In these times we need something that is so far from reality that we can take a breath, step into the fantastic and renew ourselves. Buy this book, have some real hearty laughs and pray that the world will become right again.

My sincere condolences go out to the families and victims of the World Trade Center holocaust. May their souls find peace.

Dorothy L. Ferebee can be contacted at

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