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 13 February 2008

Commonwealth shortlists....

The 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize shortlists were announced today--see them here. Disappointingly, only one Caribbean title has been shortlisted for the "best book" regional prize in the Canada/Caribbean division: Erna Brodber's new novel The Rainmaker's Mistake (look out for Annie Paul's review in the February CRB). And all the "best first book" shortlistees are Canadian--though one of them is crypto-Caribbean. David Chariandy, whose novel Soucouyant is shortlisted, was born in Canada of Trinidadian ancestry. (Thanks to CRB contributor Jonathan Ali for pointing this out.)

I'm sure some Antilles readers will share my disappointment that more Caribbean writers were not shortlisted for the only major writing prize most are eligible for.... What others do you wish had caught the judges' eyes? What were the other standout Anglophone Caribbean fiction titles of last year? (I'd point to Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw's Four Taxis Facing North, a CRB book of the year.) Tell us in the comments below.

Monday 11 February 2008

What's going on?

- Thinking of doing a creative writing MFA? Geoffrey Philp offers some advice on how to choose the right programme, and includes suggestions from other writers as well.

- Tobias Buckell muses on the perils of blurbing: "authors get enough rejection in life as it is with their work ... having to turn down a fellow colleague is awkward."

- In yesterday's Stabroek News, Al Creighton turns to the words of Martin Carter for wisdom and solace in the aftermath of the horrific Lusignan murders.

- Aphra Benn's seventeenth-century novel Oroonoko is a crucial early representation of the Caribbean (specifically, Suriname) in literature. A stage adaptation by the Nigerian writer Biyi Bandele has just opened in New York; Charles Isherwood reviews it in the New York Times.

- And Marlon James loves Junot Díaz's novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao--which, as he points out in this blog post, he's reviewed for the February issue of the CRB (running a little late, dear readers, but on its way to subscribers shortly...).

(Indeed, it's because your humble Antilles blogger has been working hard to get the next CRB off to press that posting here has been light of late. What can you look forward to in our next issue, apart from Marlon's zesty piece? Reviews of the latest books by V.S. Naipaul, Erna Brodber, and Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw, plus an anthology of poems about Che Guevara and the massive catalogue of the Yale Centre for British Art's recent Belisario show.... Also essays by Kei Miller and Tobias Buckell, a review of Roberta Stoddart's retrospective catalogue, a portfolio of contemporary Cuban art, poems by Tanya Shirley, Vahni Capildeo, and Ishion Hutchinson.... If you're not a subscriber, better sign up now!)