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Friday, 13 July 2007

What to read during Caribana

What to read during Caribana

Georgia Popplewell is in Toronto for the second annual Caribbean Tales Film Festival. In a branch of the bookshop chain Indigo, she spotted this Caribana-themed display of Caribbean books--Naipaul, Carter, Lamming, Harold Sonny Ladoo, Jamaica Kincaid, David Dabydeen....

2006 Guyana Prize shortlists

The shortlists for the 2006 Guyana Prizes for Literature have been announced, according to an article in the Stabroek News.

On the shortlist for the best fiction prize: Cyril Dabydeen's Drums of My Flesh; Mark McWatt's Suspended Sentences (which won a Commonwealth Writers' Prize last year; the Guyana Prizes are biennial); and Ryhaan Shah's A Silent Life.

On the best book of poetry shortlist: Cyril Dabydeen again, for Imaginary Origins; Elly Niland's Cornerstones, and Berkley Semple's The Solo Flyer.

The best drama shortlist: Ronan Blaze's For Love of Aidana Soraya and Michael Gilkes's Last of the Redmen.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 23 August in Georgetown. This is the twentieth anniversary of the Guyana Prizes--still the only national book prizes in the Anglophone Caribbean.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Links, links, links

- Who invented rock and roll, asks Marlon James--why couldn't it have been Jackie Brenston?

- Geoffrey Philp reviews Crystal Rain, the new speculative fiction novel by Tobias Buckell, set in a futuristic world borrowing many details from the Caribbean.

- Imani wonders why better-made editions of classic Jamaican writers like Roger Mais aren't in print:

The Jonathan Cape omnibus of the novels was a hardcover and probably did not have any typos (though I suspect I’ve just forgotten them) but the pros stop there. It’s clear that that the publisher simply got three separate copies of the three novels, each with completely different fonts (not even the same size!) and stuck them together. *lifts hands into the air*

- Andre Bagoo is offering weekly "bedside books" updates:

Derek Walcott’s The Prodigal climbs to the top of my ‘active zone’, taking pride of place alongside his Collected Poems. The wonderfully produced American hard-cover edition of Zadie Smith’s bulky White Teeth caused some difficulty with the delicate balance that I have going....

- Kwame Dawes on reading Gerard Manley Hopkins's poem "The Windhover" as a young man:

For a poet living in a world in which language was constantly subjected to mutation, stretching, punning, and weighted with political and ideological meaning--and here I am speaking of the world being influenced and shaped by Rastafarians who forced us to take every word seriously, to test it for its possible implications and to see language as hardly locked in by tradition, but open to transformation, Hopkins’ poetry resonated for me--gave me permission, then to think of language, the Jamaican language I was learning, in different ways.