A Caribbean giant

The book fates are mischievous. Earlier this week, on a review of another Caribbean retelling of a British classic, a commenter deemed it evidence of the author’s lack of originality, a desperate “cling onto other people’s work”.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Read Windward Heights. Be struck in awe. Witness a god’s creation take giant strides through your sacred moor as it moves to create and inhabit new ground.

Emily Brontë wrote of violent, obsessive passion mired in the classism, sexism, xenophobia, and addiction in an English village backwater, contained in a favoured servant’s tongue. The slip to a tenant’s mean, self-involved mental energy served as no boon, no invigorative jolt to proceedings. If Wuthering Heights is the wind’s dull roar Windward Heights is the source.

Continue reading “A Caribbean giant”
Advertisements

“The cemetery is beginning to flower”

History is implacable and it is history that will judge…. – Minou Tavarez Mirabal, daughter of Minerva Mirabal

Rother, Larry. “The Three Sisters, Avenged: A Dominican Drama.” New York Times 15 February 1997

The secrets and disguises of the past will be constantly rendered up for public scrutiny by each new generation of Caribbean peoples…. The historical past will be constantly interpreted by those who have adopted the region as their permanent or temporary home, untangled by those who physically live in the region, and debated by those who have migrated out of the region.

Patricia Mohammed (1998), “Towards Indigenous Feminist Theorizing in the Caribbean”. Feminist Review 59, (6-33)
a book set among some bouganville branches on a wall

Julia Alvarez, born in New York City, lived for part of her childhood in the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo years, before her parents moved back the United States when her father’s underground political activity endangered the family. In In the Time of the Butterflies’ afterword, Alvarez noted that after all her research she could only find the Mirabal sisters through her imagination, laying no claim to being a biographer or much inspired by national myths of “the same god-making impulse that had created our tyrant”.

Continue reading ““The cemetery is beginning to flower””

Wherever You Go, There You Are

IMG_20190107_105818_056.jpgThere are books that you swim out to meet as they crest the hype wave, only to flounder. Others you pick up by chance near the shore and are drawn into the surge. Valmiki’s Daughter’s currents take the reader through the Gulf of Paria, to San Fernando in Trinidad and Tobago. Opening the novel with a brief town tour Mootoo starts to map the political, cultural, and literary histories which fertilize and stunt its residents’ imaginations. Continue reading “Wherever You Go, There You Are”

“Between Fear and Hope”

2019-01-10 11.49.19 1.jpg

Reviewed TitleWe Dream Together: Dominican Independence, Haiti, and the Fight for Caribbean Freedom by Anne Eller

Reading 19th to mid-20th-century Caribbean history is like looking through a sunlit fog into a lost dream. Any war fought against European/US hegemony was in part sustained by the collaboration, cooperation, and encouragement of a country’s Caribbean neighbours. The official understanding of Haiti and the Dominican Republic’s history is divisive: one country negatively defines itself against the other, at times violently. In We Dream Together, Anne Eller looked at La Española in the mid 19th century, from the end of Haitian Unification in 1944 to the War of Restoration’s end in 1865, to complicate that story.

Continue reading ““Between Fear and Hope””

Summer Reading

I gallop apace. From a tentative two books a month I’ve reclaimed my past normal of 4 books at the same time. Reading challenges continue to give me the courage to work my underused novel-reading muscle. The Morning News has a summer one (started last year, I think?). I never read all the selections: I look for author names that don’t sound white with exceptions made for books in translation/favourite authors/favourite genres. Continue reading “Summer Reading”

Start, Stop, Start

I’m reading a book I am reluctant to acknowledge, one I don’t want to spend too much time in one sitting. I started it late last year but did not make it much further than the gang rape. I included it in my Rebel Women Lit reading challenge yet every time I finished a book, and thought about starting it, I detoured into another’s embrace. I scrolled past its cover on my Moon Reader shelf. Continue reading “Start, Stop, Start”

Here Comes The Sun review

Hardships there are but the land is green and the sun shineth.

This lyrical line was an explanation of the symbolic colours in the Jamaica national flag: black, green and gold. In 1996 (according to Wikipedia) the government changed the meaning for black: it now represented the citizenry’s strength and creativity. With “Here Comes the Sun” Nicole Dennis-Benn creates a tangible palimpsest of this “black” double-meaning. At the end, which narrative will emerge most visible beneath the white-hot sunlight?

Continue reading “Here Comes The Sun review”

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑