Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 23rd 2013 Contents B29
June 23, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
SHIVANEE RAMLOCHAN sums up
Caribbean books recently crossing her desk.
Passages II: Brown Doves
Author: Helen Drayton
Published by: CreateSpace, 2012.
Accompanied by the poet s original paint-
ings, Passages II: Brown Doves is a collection
that seeks to represent the fullness and vital-
ity inherent in a wide range of experiences.
These encompass personal reflections on
God, character studies of children at play,
the natural splendour of island sunsets and
mountain ranges. Readers appreciative of
language used lushly and in copious descrip-
tive measure will find resonances with Dray-
ton s poems, which hold at their core a grat-
itude for the beauty of a rich, communal
At the very back of Pao, our
Sunday Arts Section (SAS) Book
Club novel, by Jamaica-born
writer Kerry Young, readers will
find a treasure map crafted
especially for book-club read-
ers. This would be Young s list
of suggested reading.
An author s list of favourite
books can offer invaluable
clues about a writer s jour-
ney to his or her own book.
I think all writers shape
their novels from their
own experiences and the
experiences they identi-
fied with in their
It is easy to see how
these books helped to
shape Young as a
writer. Six of them are set
at least partly in China. Her other choices
are powerful stories about growing up and
coming of age.
Most of them are anchored in culture and
countries defined by political extremes.
All the books on Young s list deal with cross-
ing cultural boundaries---either emotionally
or physically. It is easy for a reader to see the
issues that have shaped Young as a writer.
Kerry Young's suggested reading list This
Cuban-American writer documents the Chi-
nese experience in Cuba by tracing the journey
of a Chinese immigrant who ends up working
in the sugarcane fields of that island.
In revolutionary China,
Lin Kong is torn between his wife, a traditional
woman, and the educated woman he falls in
love with as he decides what is most important:
his individual needs or his duty to his coun-
Chinese girl growing up in traditional China
finds her whole life changes when she meets
a missionary woman.
young girl from Hong Kong who migrates to
Brooklyn, New York, leads a double life as a
student by day and a worker in a sweatshop
A Haitian US immigrant with a scar across
his face keeps a secret of his past life.
This award-winning novel of
a Dominican ghetto teen who stands out for
being a nerd explores acceptance and preju-
Caribbean classic, Annie John is a coming-
of-age story set in Antigua.
The story of four sisters living in the Dominican
Republic documents the violent political reign
of General Trujillo.
learn they have been sold to husbands in Los
Angeles when their wealthy Chinese father
gambles away all of his money.
crime story, set in New York s Chinatown,
features a Chinese detective.
Next week: Head into July with our next
SAS Book Club choice: Saving Fish from
Drowning, by Amy Tan. There s no story like
Tan s novel (based on real events) about Amer-
ican tourists who become lost in Myanmar.
The book features a narrator who dies under
Get ready for our August SAS Book Club
choice: And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled
Join the SAS Book Club group on Facebook
to discuss our book-club choices and reading.
Stripping down Young's influences
Cristina Garcia's Monkey Hunting
Six books from Caribbean authors
The Coming of Lights
Author: V Ramsamooj Gosine
Published by: Peepal Tree Press, 1992.
Bearing the distinction of being Peepal
Tree Press first novel for readers of young
adult fiction, The Coming of Lights focuses
on Balwant, who has lost his parents in a
tragic accident that also injures and disables
him. A novel in three parts, the story follows
the trials of Balwant as he attempts to adjust
to a world without the presence of his mother
and father, one in which he must navigate
the difficulties of living with his uncle and
aunt. Through his hardships, his cousin Sav-
itri becomes a beacon of hope, a source of
light in otherwise dark places.
Misunderstood by a Single Twist of Fate
Author: CC Graham
Published by: AuthorHouse, 2012.
Graham s debut novel takes a series of
multi-perspective examinations on the inner
workings of the urban teenage experience,
engaging with a cast of characters ranging
between 16 and 18. Jamie Austin must deal
with the uncomfortable reality of an
unplanned pregnancy; Brooklynn Vladimir
seeks desperately for a sense of acceptance
she cannot find in the non-virtual arena;
and Ajay Edison wants to be understood for
his own merits, not through the lens of a
troubled rebel persona.
The Child and the Caribbean Imagination,
edited by Giselle Rampaul
and Geraldine Skeete
UWI Press, 2012.
Presenting 12 essays on various aspects
of the multifaceted experiences of the
Caribbean child, this collection seeks to bol-
ster a conspicuous deficit of printed scholarly
work in the area. The book has four seg-
ments: Discourse and Representation, Unsta-
ble Identities, Language Development, and
Pedagogy. Each essay seeks to intelligently
and comprehensively interrogate the child s
position, with several of the pieces taking
account of extra-classroom interactions as
well as focusing on many paedagogical areas
Author: Ian Dieffenthaller
Published by: Cane Arrow Press, 2009.
Dieffenthaller s poems are about two dis-
tinct places linked through history: Britain
and Trinidad. They also navigate the space
between both zones, divided into sections
dedicated to both regions as well as to the
interstices of experience accumulated
through spending time in between those
states. Ideas of travelling, of seasons in flux,
of a well-populated cast of characters
encountered through sojourns: these notions
emerge in the work. The collection resists
overwhelming nostalgia while gamely striving
to present as panoramic a view as possible.
Barrel: Soul of a Migrant
Author: Brij Goberdhan
Published by: CreateSpace, 2012.
Conducted in colourful, energetic prose,
Barrel: Soul of a Migrant focuses on the tra-
vails of Barrel, who seeks refuge from a past
fraught with personal traumas. He flees the
troubled shores of his life in the Caribbean
in hopes of bettering his circumstances in
Canada, where things, he soon realises, are
markedly different in more ways than he
could have predicted. Barrel is accompanied
in his daily observations by his outlandish
counterpart, Khakaa, as well as his mentoring
companion, Bharat, who provides him with
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