Jamaica’s Sharon Leach talks female bonding and “serious firepower” at PEN



“I was singularly thrilled to be asked to be part of this year’s festival, which included two other writers from the Caribbean region, Barbara Jenkins of Trinidad and Tobago and Joanne Hillhouse of Antigua. We were accommodated at hipster-chic hotel, the Marlton, smack-dab in the Village, and the experience was delightful. Authors can be some of the most negatively competitive people you’ll ever meet, and so, it didn’t have to play out that way. You know I keep it real, so believe me when I tell you: the time spent bonding with these ladies was amazing and I left feeling not only more a part of the contemporary Caribbean woman writers’ sorority, but more importantly, that I’d made two friends for life. I’d actually met Barbara two years ago at the Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad and she’d interviewed me for the festival podcast. She was generous and gracious so I knew she was somebody I could get along with. Joanne I’d heard of but had never met. Thank God, she too turned out to be engaging and warm. Women writers, we agreed, didn’t need the unnecessary nastiness and competition. And so, over coffee by the fireplace (New York was an unseasonably blustery 40 degrees) we shared our thoughts on topics ranging from world and regional politics to pop culture. How refreshing these talks were and mentally stimulating!” -Sharon’s write-up in her Bookends column in the Jamaica Observer. I have to agree with her on the camaraderie between the three of us and in fact her coverage of the entire event. Read the full here.

And read my PEN blog here.



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