Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 30th 2015 Contents B15
Thursday, April 30, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
From Page B12
We wanted stories that would engage
us and make us rethink our notions of
form, language and what mattered. The
winning stories did all of that and more.
Thank you writers."
From the exuberant tone of King of
Settlement 4, rooted in the language
and place of Trinidad, to the beautifully
written and evocative Famished Eels
set in Fiji but which crosses continents,
these prize entries show the diversity
and range of stories across the Com-
Events to celebrate the regional win-
ners will be held in local venues and
locations, relevant to the individual
authors, across the world, including a
Chinese restaurant in London, a book
store in New Delhi and a literary centre
in Minneapolis, USA.
The regional winners will compete
with each other to become the overall
winner, which will be announced in
London on September 8.
• The entire story, The King of Set-
tlement 4 will be published in the Sun-
day Arts section of the Sunday
Entries engaging, diverse
Africa: Lesley Nneka Arimah, Light
Asia: Siddhartha Gigoo, The
Umbrella Man (India)
Canada and Europe: Jonathan Tel,
The Human Phonograph (United
Caribbean: Kevin Jared Hosein,
The King of Settlement 4 (T&T)
Pacific: Mary Rokonadravu,
Famished Eels (Fiji).
Further details of the authors and
links to their winning stories can
be found on the regional winners
By Kevin Jared Hosein
I gon start this one off by tellin
you that I was born and raise
along a backroad that always
seem slightly more Trinidadian
than the rest of the country.
Settlement 4 is that old-timey,
grassy, carefree type of Trinidad
the illustrators adore. Open any
Caribbean primary-school readin
book and you gon likely see it
We have it all.
We have the little black boys
bathin by the standpipe. We have
the no-teeth man who rock-hard
gums could cut through cucumber
like butter. Take a walk down this
mucky stretch of asphalt and look
to your right. You'll see a young,
pregnant Miss Lady combin the
lice out of the locks of she first-
born. To the left, you'll see a
sunburnt savannah where children
still fly mad bull kites next to a
posse of nomad goats. Walk
further down and you gon find a
rusted sedan with chipped bricks
for wheels, and weeds growin
outta the glove compartment.
But then there's the features that
we illustrators would omit.
Features of boys like Foster and
me who had plans to spend the
better part of we teenage years
sittin on a crate and paint bucket.
Makeshift lookout points, you
Foster is two years older than me,
and when free education wasn't
cutting it for him no more, I decide
it was time for me to sever my
I hope you know, I ain't no fool. I
could speak proper when the time
come. Not all of we could do that,
you know. I could even solve an
equation or two. Free education is
a nice concept, but it seem that
free paychecks is a better one.
When the teacher absenteeism
rate start rising higher than the
students', it was time for plenty
of we to try to tip the scales. To
me, it was the wisest decision. It
just much quieter out here on the
backroad than in that classroom
of unsupervised howler monkeys.
Foster was out for entirely
different reasons, though. Less
articulate reasons. At school, you
see, it was very hard to gargle a
cloud of marijuana smoke every
two hours or so. Despite this, he
always seem to have it all figured
out. I tell you, for some reason, I
was always lookin up to that boy.
I realise I never coulda figure out
what I was doin and always fell in
line with those who did.
It was all simple to Foster.
Droppin outta school was just a
nervous impulse to him. Snatched
right outta the Vincey weed
vapours one evenin. For me, I had
to spend sleepless nights
convincin myself that I was
teachin the damn Ministry of
Education a lesson.
See, I was lettin the system know.
I had to feel like I was showin
Foster never had to show nobody
nothin. Never had to prove he
could be a big man without a
father in he life. Never had to put
he chin up to nobody. Never had
to answer to nobody.
Except one person: The King of
As did I.
And as did everybody else, if the
The King is the King, after all. And
when the war finally decide to get
we busy, what better company to
be in than among all the King's
men? What better place to be
than on the winnin side?
An Excerpt from The King of Settlement 4
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