Once, more than half a century ago, he was the handsomest man in the world. A radiant man. It was a matter of bearing, of voice and gesture and timing. He had that high, buttery baritone, nothing special really, except, he says, “I knew how to use it”; and that smile, the genuine pleasure that seemed to roll off the so-called King of Calypso in soft little waves; and those eyes, bedroom eyes but darker, almost cadaverous but alert, ready. The eyes revealed the simmer inside. “This hard core of hostility,” a director once said, comparing him to Marlon Brando. That mesmerizing anger. “He’s loaded with it.”
Find out who. VQR will be following up with a playlist to accompany the story next week.
VQR is one of the few literary journals that publish literary journalism. This issue's a gem -- Lawrence Weschler, Jack Hitt, Francine Prose, Garret Keizer, Kevin Young, and three more big reported essays. I'm starting with "Mandela's Prosecutor," by Emma Rathbone. I almost always like essays about people on the wrong side of history.