It is overcast, heavily grey in the sky to my left, peaks of blue in the sky to my right, in my sliver of the tropical paradise known as the Caribbean. I say paradise un-ironically here because the real world troubles notwithstanding (even in less pandemic times), as much as I like to remind that we are more than just where the world vacations, but real people in a real place, it is a beautiful place. And in such times, it is important to lean in to beauty, though our hearts are troubled, to not lean in to despair. The split in the skies above my verandah are a reminder to me in time for this Sunday Post that in any given moment, things can go either way, and we should indeed be mindful of the full clouds of grey about to fall on our freshly hung clothes (and take necessary action), but also let our eyes drift to the blue peaking through, choosing to believe that this too shall pass.
This may change, of course, but my strategy has been to take in only as much news and social media as I need to to stay informed re advisories etc, to reduce contact (emphasis on physical here as it is important to stay connected), wash, sanitize etc. but to turn down the hysteria, walk, listen to music and comedies (all caught up on The Good Place over here), and since I freelance from home anyway (keep working). I am worried about resources (money, stocks – of food and essentials) and about things getting worse before they get better (leadership or its lack is so critical in such times) but I don’t want to sit in that worry; so I stay doing. What am I doing, well, at the moment I’m on my back verandah typing to you about what I’ve been reading.
Not much as it happens but I did finish the audio book of Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage. I liked the book, the audio book-ing of it, less so (though it was good company on days that I had to commute). I didn’t say this in the review but communication and lack of being a key issue in this book, the author’s use of not only direct communication but letters, phone calls, and inner thoughts and things unsaid was masterful. The way the forces bigger than you (in this case the system of injustice and its hunger for Black lives) can stagnate a life and cause relationships to atrophy is compelling. And the instinctively selfish nature of being (the book making clear there are no villains nor pure beings in that regard) is frustrating but resonant. And yet these are good people doing their best with a bad situation; and can’t we all relate to that. You can read my review here. My other recent review is the children’s book from the Isle of Wight, Milly’s Marvellous Mistakes, a fresh take on the three wishes trope. Read my review here.
I wrote this week about a book I haven’t read, but about which I had a very thorough e-conversation with the author Haitian-American writer M. J. Fievre. It’s a creative narrative about depression called Happy, Okay? Read the interview here.
Finally, I’d like to share from other blogs, Repeating Islands’ share of 5 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Written by Afro-Caribbean Authors, a list which is really good but to which I would add anything Anansi, including Philip Sherlock’s Illustrated Anansi and Imam Baksh’s Children of the Spider (the latter of which I reviewed here on the blog); Bookertalk.com’s 6 Degrees from Wolfe Island to Climate Change, and while I can’t really relate to the current rush on apocalyptic fiction I’d definitely want to check these out at another time including Caribbean read Monique Roffey’s Archipelago; speaking of Roffey her The Mermaid of Black Conch is one of the new books mentioned in my Carib Lit Plus news round up at my Wadadli Pen site; and, finally, speaking of Wadadli Pen, the short list for our Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2020 Challenge has been posted. Congrats to all the writers.
And to you all, follow the guidelines, this is real, do everything we’re directed to do to keep ourselves and everyone else safe. And happy reading.