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October 18, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
WOW MAGAZINE| 9
Mamie was sixteen years old when Granny send her New York for Aun-
tie Mavis to file for her. Auntie Mavis was no fool, Granny say. Latch on to
a Yankee tourist who couldn't get enough of her pelau and pretty eyes,
saw her chance and bolt. Then, naturalized and of a generous spirit, she
sent for her niece. So sixteen Mamie went, and by seventeen Mamie had
me, her Yankee legacy, wrap up in her arms. Granny used to worry about
her smallest girl child out there, but when what happen happened she
just tell Auntie, "Best she stay out the year, Mavis. Best she stay and have
the child there and then come back. Let the child have a chance at least,
now that she mess up hers." That is what Granny tell Auntie, but Auntie
Mavis had her own ideas about this whole business.
Big Uncle, Granny big brother, had wanted to meet Mamie in the airport
and rain blows in her tail from the arrival gate to Mr. Montrose car. All be-
fore the day he kept quietly reassuring Granny in a poor attempt to half
convince himself. "Ah wouldn't touch she, she pregnant. Ah go just talk
mih mind. Ah go just talk mih mind very strongly." As for Granny, she-self
was confused. She used to beat Mamie two older brothers and some-
times rest a slap on her three older sisters, but she never once hold she
spoil child and blaze she tail. But that day she was confused and over-
joyed and heartbroken and relieved, and any card coulda play that day.
But with Mr. Montrose there, respectable Mr. Montrose who used to be
a teacher, whose family had a shop, who actually owned a car and had of-
fered to take Granny to meet Mamie, Big Uncle had to stand there with
his two hands deep in his pockets and content himself with watching cut-
eye, as Granny meet Mamie with a smile on her face and a stone in her
heart, and Mamie come through the doors grinning as only a sweet young
girl who never feel a tongue-lash could grin, happy to be back home,
happy about her American baby.
Granny tell me when Mamie was pregnant Mamie used to strut
around the house saying me and my child not staying here. The child fa-
ther love me and the child father love it. He go send for we, watch and see.
We not staying here. That was Mamie song until months pass with no
letter, no message, no hope from abroad. After that she never mentioned
him; refused to mention him. It was like he was wilfully rubbed out of
Five months after she come back I was born and all the older women
gathered round me. Oh gorsh, de child nice eh? And smelling sweet,
smelling like America! Mamie nice child. Sugar-dumpling. Choonkooloonks.
She fair eh? The father white or Spanish? Must be white! Oh God, hold up
de child back good nah.
Sometimes you just have to stand up for yourself. This was the thinking of Dara
Wilkinson Bobb when she published two novels on Amazon Kindle last month.
Since 2010, Dara had been holding on to the promise of a mega publisher that her
book, The Roar of Shells, would soon be published. Five years later, she could wait
"I remembered what I had learned in my Creative Writing Masters class at UWI,"
says Dara. "Professor Aiyejina would always tell us that a main character has to
be active in the pursuit of her own goals on her journey."
Since publication a month ago, she has earned a two-page feature in Bookends in
the Jamaica Observer. The Roar of Shells is a full-length novel about the adven-
tures of a Trini girl, a recent immigrant in New York in the 1990s. As cultures
clash, the hero, Shelley, gets into many scrapes and goof-ups as she reaches for
the American Dream.
The second publication is titled Simplicity. It is a novella about the outrageous
ways one community bonds after the antics of strangers fracture the neighbour-
hood. It also shows the power of community to transform lives.
Dara was highlighted earlier this year as a bright, up-and-coming talent when she
was featured in the Who's Next segment of the Bocas Lit Fest.
For the pleasure of WOW readers, here is an excerpt from The Roar of Shells:
A z . . A z I
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