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”

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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 represents 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”

Rebel Woman Lit Challenge

This should shock me back into…some kind renewal, reemergence, reconnection, re re re.

I selected the Light Reader’s Plan with a couple prompts substituted from the Avid Reader’s. RWL seems a little too US-centric sometimes (more in the social media presence than actual book selections). It was easy to drop the gentrification prompt for “a speculative fiction written by a Caribbean author”. I may still get The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang for my “chick-lit featuring persons of colour” but may swap it for “a book that takes place in North-East Asia”. I have a lot of Japanese lit yet to be absorbed. I appreciate that the prompts have a more global focus.

Continue reading “Rebel Woman Lit Challenge”

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