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!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

C minus 1

Longtime Antilles readers may remember that last year, with the help of my friend and colleague Georgia Popplewell (and her camera), I not-quite-live-blogged the events at the 2007 Calabash International Literary Festival. Well, I am once again back in breezy Treasure Beach on Jamaica's St. Elizabeth coast, and looking forward to taking in--and blogging about--Calabash 2008, which starts tomorrow evening.

I've actually been here in Treasure Beach since Monday--once again staying at the gorgeous Villa Lyric. I'd like to say I've been catching up on my reading, but really I've been deeply engrossed in "the pages of the sea," as Derek Walcott put it. Georgia is once again my villa-mate; so is CRB editorial board member (and good friend) Annie Paul; CRB contributor Jonathan Ali; CRB friend David "Oso" Sasaki; and CRB friend and man-of-mystery Alastair Bird. We're all looking forward to this year's Calabash programme, which includes appearances by Jamaican writers Lorna Goodison, Erna Brodber, Thomas Glave, and Kei Miller--plus Walcott himself, in his Calabash debut. The action starts--under the big tent, on the seaside lawn, at Jake's--tomorrow night at 7.30, and we'll collectively be doing our best to convey something of the atmosphere of Calabash '08 to Antilles readers not lucky enough to be here. So check us out over the weekend!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

"A beautiful writer"

That his name was perhaps not as familiar outside literary circles as it deserved (he was always well respected by other authors: Salman Rushdie called him "a beautiful writer", and to Edward Blishen he was "simply one of the most astonishingly good novelists of our time") may be because Roy was not one to parade details of his personal life in public, believing that his work should speak for itself. As he explained in "Art and Experience", his 1983 Edgar Mittelholzer memorial lecture, delivered in Georgetown: "The price the artist pays for his egotism is a high one. On one level egotism obliges him to create, while the same egotism threatens to destroy him. Success not only goes to his head, it remains there, creating demands he cannot hope to satisfy. I am acutely aware of all this and therefore try to shun gratuitous publicity."

-- From Margaret Busby's obituary of the late Roy A.K. Heath in today's UK Guardian. There is also appended a moving personal note by Anne Walmsley, Heath's first editor (and good friend of the CRB).

Further: the Literary Saloon offers excerpts from three reviews of Heath's novels.