New York magazine asked 61 book critics to name their "favourite underrated book of the past ten years", and the full list, with brief annotations, is published in their current issue. I scrolled through, wondering if any Caribbean books would make an appearance--and there, nominated by Jean Stein, was Patrick Chamoiseau's Texaco.
I'm wondering, dear readers, what a "best underrated" list restricted to Caribbean books would look like. Off the top of my head, my choice would probably be Charlotte Williams's memoir Sugar and Slate, a nuanced story of the author's struggle to come to terms with her divided heritage--Welsh and Guyanese--and to understand the meanings and possibilities of "home". Identity, dividedness, and exile are classic themes in Caribbean literature, but Williams tackles them from what feels like a fresh perspective; and then there is the particular interest of her take on her father, the celebrated Guyanese artist and writer Denis Williams. (I wrote a very short review of Sugar and Slate some years ago.)
What would your "best underrated" Caribbean books of the last decade be, dear readers? Let us know in the comments below.
Dear readers: For our sixth anniversary in May 2010, The Caribbean Review of Books has launched a new website at www.caribbeanreviewofbooks.com. Antilles has now moved to www.caribbeanreviewofbooks.com/antilles — please update your bookmarks and RSS feed. If you link to Antilles from your own blog or website, please update that too!
Wednesday, 30 May 2007