Another week, another list. If you’re a literature lover then this week’s list is definitely your cup of tea.
This week the List features 5 Caribbean novels written by 5 Caribbean novelists (of course!) I am an ardent reader, but I am not afraid to say that I’ve only read one book on this list. Have no fear, I am going to challenge myself to read the other four before the year is over.
Here goes SHEMMY’S … 5 Caribbean Novels by 5 Caribbean Novelists:
1. Is Just a Movie by Trinidadian, Earl Lovelace. Lovelace has lived in Trinidad his entire life and this book is an exquisite display of Trinidadian culture and society. Is Just a Movie is written from the perspective of one whose ties to his homeland have never been broken. Set in the village of Cascadu the book takes you on a journey through the lives of ordinary individuals whose relationship to politics, their peers and their own weaknesses prove to be very fascinating.
2. The Ghost of Memory by Guyanese, Sir Theodore Wilson Harris. Harris spent most of his years living in Britain but he made periodic visits to his homeland Guyana. The Ghost of Memory examines the differences between our waking and dream lives. “We may dream, while still alive, of dying. But the dream is soon forgotten as are the edges and corners of a re-lived life of which we dream. It is buried in the unconscious. We know that life fades into death but, in what degree, does life re-live itself as it dreams of dying?” These are some of the questions asked by Harris in his book.
3. Wide Sargasso Sea by Dominican, Jean Rhys. Rhys was masterful in this novel. Though, often found on some secondary schools reading list, it is a must read for everyone. The book introduces us to a protected young woman who grows up in the Caribbean, she is sold into marriage to a husband who succumbs to his need for money and his lust, and one who keeps her enslaved in her own home. Slavery, hatred, sexual relations, alcohol abuse and other ills of the Caribbean are expressed in this novel.
4. Lucy by Antigua’s Jamaica Kincaid. Kincaid’s book tells the story of a West Indian teenage from the island of Antigua who moves to the United States to work as an au pair. The book is used to compare the lifestyles of the rich and seemingly happy couple Lucy has her employers to her very own humble upbringing and lifestyle in Antigua. Throughout the book, as Lucy learns new things she is also finding herself, and a new person appears.
5. Angel by Grenadian Merle Collins. Collins uses this novel to highlight the lives of women in a developing Third World country. It tells the tale of Angel, a young woman growing up in Grenada witnessing first hand strike, civil unrest and the rise to power of a political leader who helps to guide the country to autonomous rule. Though highly political, the novel highlights Angel’s struggles and how she overcame them.
If you’ve read one or more of these books, I would love to hear your comments. If you’re yet to read them, what are you waiting for???!!!