SOLE AUTHORED BOOKS
Children’s Picture books –
¡PERDIDA! UNA AVENTURA EN EL MAR CARIBE. Publisher: CaribbeanReads (Caribbean/USA) Genre: Children’s fiction (picture book); Recommended age: 5 – 8. Year of Release: 2018. ISBN-10: 0999237292/ISBN-13: 978-0999237298 Illustrated by: Danielle Boodoo-Fortune Translated by: Loudymar Lightfoot and Nneka Edwards Formats: paperback
Synopsis: Cuando Delfín, la foca ártica se encuentre lejos de su hogar y en las cálidas aguas del Mar Caribe, tiene que depender de nuevos amigos de distintas especies. ¿Volverá a su hogar en el Ártico?
“— ¿Dónde estoy yo? — pregunta Delfín. Dondequiera que él esté, el agua está
un poco caliente, la temperatura es más alta a la que él ya está acostumbrado. Y
todo es diferente. Tantos colores, tanta luz, tantas cosas que no sabe nombrar.
Delfín voltea por aquí y por acá tratando de verlo todo a la vez.”
LOST! A CARIBBEAN SEA ADVENTURE. Publisher: CaribbeanReads (Caribbean/USA) Genre: Children’s fiction (picture book); Recommended age: 5 – 8. Year of Release: 2017. ISBN-0999237217/ISBN-13: 978-0999237212 Illustrated by: Danielle Boodoo Fortune Formats: kindle, hardcover, paperback, audiobook
Synopsis: When an Arctic seal named Dolphin finds himself far from home in the warm Caribbean sea, he has to rely on new friends for help. Will he make his way back to his Arctic home? Inspired by a true story. Previously published as Fish Outta Water (Pearson Education, 2013 – illustrated by Zavian Archibald), this edition, includes all new art work and a puzzle.
Sample Review: “An appealing book, all the more so for being based on real life.” – Kirkus Reviews (USA)
More Lost! Reviews
‘”Where am I?” Dolphin asks. Wherever he is, the water is warm – warmer than he’s used to. And everything is different. So many colours, so much light, so many things he can’t name.
Dolphin whirls and twirls trying to see it all at once. Is that a blue octopus? A seahorse? A lionfish?’
WITH GRACE. Publisher: Little Bell Caribbean (USA) Genre: Children’s fiction (picture book, fairytale); Recommended age: 8 and up. Year of Release: 2016 ISBN: 1934370622/ISBN-13: 9781934370629 Illustrated by: Cherise Harris. Formats: hardcover
First Page: WITH GRACE
Synopsis: Grace leads a carefree life in Grace’s Peak, and looks down upon the rest of the villagers who are not as fortunate as she, but when a young girl comes in search of assistance, both lives are forever changed as truths about love, family and community are unearthed.
Sample Review : “Written in Hillhouse’s strong poetic voice, ‘With Grace’ spins a magic-laden story of the universal battle between good and evil. …Readers will be swept away into this fairy-tale and hold their breaths in anticipation of where the story will take them next.” – reader review, Goodreads(USA)
‘And as Grace is about to open her mouth to tell the girl that, in life, you can’t expect things to be just handed to you, the girl surprises her by saying, “May I pick and sell some of your mangoes to get money for what I need? I’ll give you one mango for each five I pick.”
Imagine! “You’ll give me one of my own mangoes, will you?” Grace scoffs.’
Press Release – With Grace, A Caribbean Faerie Tale, Lands Just in Time for Christmas
With Grace was selected for the 2017 US Virgin Islands Governor’s Summer Read Challenge.
Book Trivia & Tidbits:
Grace’s Merrymakers (With Grace Carnival troupe)
Teen/Young Adult –
MUSICAL YOUTH. Publisher: CaribbeanReads (Caribbean/USA) Genre: Teen/YA Fiction. Year of Release: 2014. ISBN-10:0989930513/ISBN-13: 978-0989930512 Formats: kindle, paperback
First Page: MUSICAL YOUTH
Synopsis: Music, Discovery, Love. Can one summer make the difference of a lifetime? Zahara is a loner. She’s brilliant on the guitar but in everyday life she doesn’t really fit in. Then she meets Shaka, himself a musical genius and the first boy who really gets her. They discover that they share a special bond, their passion for music, and Zahara finds herself a part, not just of Shaka’s life, but also that of his boys, the Lion Crew. When they all get roles in a summer musical, Zahara, Shaka, and the rest of the Lion Crew use the opportunity to work on a secret project. But the Crew gets much more than they bargained for when they uncover a dark secret linking Shaka and Zahara’s families and they’re forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about class, colour, and relationships on the Caribbean island of Antigua. Musical Youth placed second in the 2014 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.
Sample Review: “Musical Youth is a compelling read because Hillhouse has managed to make readers really care about the characters and their struggles. It is a deserving, prize-winning book that now comfortably claims its place in Caribbean Young Adult literature.” —Debbie Jacob, Trinidad and Tobago Guardian
“Her fingers itched for her guitar as she waited for the show to start. The auditorium was loud and busy, bodies moving around, girls in groups, guys edging up to girls. Quiet in the midst of it all, she felt …”
Writer’s Gallery Launch Event – Musical Youth (2014)
2014 Burt Award for Teen/Young Adult Caribbean Literature — 2nd place: (via Burt Award organizers CODE).
#12 in Amazon Hot New Releases Teen and Young Adult Performing Arts Fiction in its first month of release.
Added to schools’ reading lists in Antigua and Barbuda, and Trinidad.
Selected by students of Fannie Lou Hamer Middle School as inspiration for their recipe in the Children’s Aid NYC event Iron Go Chefs 2019 competition.
As of 2019, Musical Youth is going in to its second printing.
First Page: THE BOY FROM WILLOW BEND
Synopsis: The Boy from Willow Bend tells the story of Vere, an Antiguan youth, with an irrepressible spirit which is tested as he comes of age amid poverty, loss, and hard knocks. The women in his life – his absent mother, longsuffering tanty, rebellious June, first crushes Kim and Makeba, and first girlfriend Elizabeth – help shape him; so, too, his abrasive grandfather and others. In the end, though, he grows into his own person; bright, talented, a survivor. The Boy from Willow Bend was initially published in 2002 by Macmillan.
Sample Review: “A short well-told story.” – reader review, Goodreads (USA)
‘“It come at midnight. Big an’ fat an’ looking for likkle children to eat. So it can get fatter. Suck dem right out of their house if they happen to look out wrong time.
Midnight is when it come…”
He made a disgusting sucking noise, a noise only eight-year-old boys can make.
Silence as the story sank in. Silence as they felt the deepening darkness. Then Kim sucked her teeth, in a way only nine-year-old girls can, breaking the spell.’ Read more.
On school reading lists in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Anguilla.
In 2016, a deal was inked for a third printing (second Hansib printing).
Book Trivia & Tidbits:
The Boy from Willow Bend Study Guide (Author Edition)
Academic Paper (University of Puerto Rico) – Education as a Factor of Social Mobility in The Boy from Willow Bend
A Walk Down Memory Lane – The Willow Bend Edition
Adult contemporary –
DANCING NUDE IN THE MOONLIGHT 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION AND OTHER WRITINGS. Publisher: Insomniac Press (Canada) Genre: Fiction (short novel, novella; plus short stories and poetry) Year of Release: 2014 ISBN-10: 1554831407/ISBN-13: 978-1554831401 Formats: kindle, paperback
Synopsis: Young Dominican single mother Selena Cruz is trying to make a new life for herself in Antigua, dealing with prejudice, poverty, and her interfering sister. When she meets handsome cricket coach Michael Lindo, her world is turned upside down. The course of true love is never smooth, and Michael and Selena’s story is no exception as they try to bridge the gap between their two cultures and their personal expectations of love. Romantic and delightful, this novella by Joanne C. Hillhouse looks at immigration and cross-cultural relationships in a warm and very human way. Dancing Nude in the Moonlight was first published by Macmillan in 2004, and it is reissued here along with selected poems and stories from Joanne C. Hillhouse’s wide collection of work. She has been published in Caribbean, North American, and African literary journals.
Sample Review: “Michael and Selena struggle for romantic survival and for self-definition, despite their histories as discarded children surrounded by bitterness. Every character has some kind of betrayal echoing in their lives. Though no one is innocent, Hillhouse skilfully wraps the reader intimately into the fallout of each character’s experience.”- Fiona Raye Clarke, Broken Pencil, The Magazine of Zine Culture and Independent Arts (Canada)
‘”…I know how love, if it’s love, can eat you up. Somehow, it don’t ever seem to eat up the men, you know. It can make a woman bitter.”
A feeling of melancholy had settled over her, and he pulled her in close, still leaning against the railing. He kissed her lips lightly, put on a teasing smile. “I wish I could say I identify. But till now, I never been in love. And I have to tell you: it not nothing but sweet.”
And she found herself smiling in return.’
While not an official pick, the original edition of Dancing Nude in the Moonlight was read at schools in Dominica and Antigua-Barbuda.
OH GAD! Publisher: Strebor/Atria/Simon & Schuster (USA) Genre: Fiction (novel) Year of Release: 2012 ISBN-10: 1593093918/ISBN-13: 978-1593093914 Formats: kindle, paperback, mass market paperback
First Page: OH GAD!
Synopsis: A stirring novel about a woman facing cross-cultural odds and redefining everything she understands about her family, herself, and the country she’s never really been able to call home.Nikki Baltimore was born in Antigua but grew up with her dad in the United States. With each year, she’s grown further apart from her mother and maternal siblings, potters in rural Antigua.Her mother’s funeral brings Nikki back to the island, and, at a professional and personal crossroads, she makes the impulsive decision to stay after being offered a job by the ruling government. Soon, Nikki is embroiled in a hurricane of an existence which includes a political hot potato, confusion in her romantic life, and deepening involvement in the lives of the family she left behind. Will Nikki eventually find her place in the chaos and begin to plant the roots that have escaped her all her life?
Sample Review: “There’s such an authenticity to her story. I immediately knew the people, the characters she wrote about.” – Elizabeth Nunez on NPR (USA)
“His laughter became brassier, trombone-like in pitch. This, for the first time, marked him as one of the village; made him fit finally with the people eating and drinking, chatting and laughing as twilight settled around them. This laughter was real, open and rich. It recalled rare instances of her mother, laughing – tied head thrown back, body rocking with unexpected and unaccustomed glee, dress riding up, and the muddy between her parted legs briefly forgotten. “Read more.
NPR discussion about Oh Gad!
*Out of Print.
Adult contemporary –
This section refers to stories or poems published in anthologies; for publications in journals and other periodicals, go here.
Story ‘Evening Ritual’ in New Daughters of Africa: an International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent (edited by Margaret Busby). Publisher: Myriad (UK). Genre: Fiction. Year of Release: 2019. ISBN: (ebook) 978-1-912408-02-3/(hbk) 978-1-912408-00-9/(trade pbk) 978-1-912408-01-6
Synopsis: Featuring (200+) women across the diaspora, New Daughters of Africa illuminates the richness and cultural history of the African continent and its enduring influence, while reflecting the lives of African/diasporic women and issues today. Bold and insightful, brilliant in its intimacy and universality, this essential volume honours the talents of African daughters and the inspiring legacy that connects them—and all of us.
Sample Review: “Some of the short stories will make you hold your breath…”—The Irish Times
‘She signaled for the salami, signaled again for a knife, cut through the plastic to
the briny meat, nipped a slice for herself, and another for her niece. Emily hmmmm’d
like there was nothing quite so salty and sweet, and Veron hmmmm’d with her. Veron
sucked on the casing after the meat was gone, reaching for the knife to cut them both
“We won’t have any left for tomorrow,” Emily protested.
Veron laughed. “Why leave for tomorrow what you can eat today?”’
Trivia & Tidbits:
In Company with New Daughters of Africa
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Story ‘Amelia at Devil’s Bridge’ in Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean Publisher: Peekash – a joint project of Askashic and Peepal Tree (USA/UK) Genre: Fiction (Anthology) Year of Release: 2014 ISBN-10: 1617752711/ISBN-13: 978-1617752711
Synopsis: Consisting entirely of brand-new stories by authors living in the region (not simply authors from the region), this collection gathers the very best entries to the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, including a mix of established and up-and-coming writers from islands throughout the Caribbean. Featuring an introduction by Olive Senior and these brand-new stories: “The Whale House” by Sharon Millar (Trinidad & Tobago); “A Good Friday” by Barbara Jenkins (Trinidad & Tobago); “Reversal of Fortunes” by Kevin Baldeosingh (Trinidad & Tobago); “The Monkey Trap” by Kevin Hosein (Trinidad & Tobago); “The Science of Salvation” by Dwight Thompson (Jamaica); “Waywardness” by Ezekel Alan (Jamaica); “Berry” by Kimmisha Thomas (Jamaica); “Father, Father” by Garfield Ellis (Jamaica); “All the Secret Things No-One Ever Knows” by Sharon Leach (Jamaica); “This Thing We Call Love” by Ivory Kelly (Belize); “And the Virgin’s Name Was Leah” by Heather Barker (Barbados); “Amelia” by Joanne C. Hillhouse (Antigua & Barbuda); “Mango Summer” by Janice Lynn Mather (Bahamas); and others!
“This wonderful anthology of fresh voices from the Caribbean . . . includes writers from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. The diverse textures of the stories by 13 established and new authors weave a tapestry of the islands, water, sand, ocean breeze, and rum. Vivid settings serve as backdrops for a dazzling display of personalities.” —Booklist
“She tracks them, all the way up to where the path ends and the land flattens out into giant slabs of bleached and jagged rock, and patches of thin grass. She watches as they unpack kites, of all things, and a cooler, from the pick-up, and turn up the stereo – reggae blasts to wake up the morning.”
Trivia & Tidbits:
Amelia, which has been taught in the US and Belize (college/university level) has also been excerpted at PEN America online and in Collins’ Concise Revision Course – English A – a Concise Revision Course for CSEC.
Poems “One” and “A Religious Experience” in She Sex, Prose and Poetry, SEX and the Caribbean Woman edited by Paula Obe and Carol N. Hosein. Publisher: Bamboo Talk Press (Trinidad and Tobago). Genre: Fiction and Poetry (Mixed Anthology). Year of Release: 2013. ISBN: 9789769561007
Synopsis: ”She Sex is an important gathering of women’s voices. On one hand the writing is a celebration of sexual fulfillment and curiosity ranging from Atiya’s poem, “Differentology”, about sex with a lover who transitions from a male to a female, to Zahra I. Airall’s story, “Over the Hill and Through the Wood” about an older woman finding sexual gratification for the first time*\. But the anthology does not shy away from the ways that sex is used as a weapon against women. Both Delesse Francis and Shakirah Bourne write stories of intimacy and emotion about ways that sexual power can be used as a primary tool to control women and seed self-doubt in girls. I hope young women around the Caribbean get a chance to read this book and have heated discussions about the beauty of sexual pleasure and vulnerability of that very beauty. The collection also does important work by introducing some writers to a wider audience.” – Tiphanie Yanique, author of How to Escape from a Leper Colony
Sample Review: “She Sex, the first anthology by Bamboo Talk Press was launched recently at the National Library (Nalis) in Port of Spain and features intimate, emotionally explicit, yet accessible poetry, representing new voices as well as some revered contemporary female poets from the Caribbean, who freely revealed their sexual connection and expression in an engaging and entertaining book.”
“I want to be so deep inside you
It be like
I’m wearing your skin” (from One)
Trivia & Tidbits:
Sex and the Caribbean Woman
Story ‘After Glow’ in So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End: an Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing Anthology edited by Althea Prince Publisher: A Different Publisher (Canada) Genre: Fiction (Mixed Anthology) Year of Release: 2013 ISBN: 9780981188
Synopsis: Contained in this collection are the voices of writers who are from the twin-island Caribbean State of Antigua & Barbuda, or are the offspring of Antiguans and Barbudans. The authors span three generations, and live in Antigua & Barbuda, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.A. The diasporic and inter-generational breadth that they represent has resulted in an interesting
and fruitful collaboration.
Sample Review: “This anthology is a veritable tour de force into the Antiguan and Barbudan culture, life and times. The works are pithy, salient, beautiful, moving and poignant. Through Antiguan daughter of the soil, Althea Prince, local writers speakespousing and exposing the intellectual creativity of a small nation with big ideas.” – Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, PhD. (then) Minister of Education, Antigua & Barbuda.
“But as he had, in all other areas of her life, Hector erased the shadowy memory determinedly. He sanded it down until it bore no resemblance to anything, really; and then changed its features to something more pleasant. There, in the shadow cast by the tree, she’d sat many a night, Hector’s scratchy fisherman’s hands moving up her thighs, his wide smile bright as day even in the dim light.”
Story ‘Man of Her Dreams’ in In the Black Anthology edited by Althea Prince Publisher: Insomniac Press (Canada) Genre: Fiction and Poetry Year of Release: 2012 ISBN-10: 1554830850/ISBN-13: 978-1554830855
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Synopsis: In a mix of short fiction, poetry, dub poetry and hip hop, some of Black Canada’s foremost writers from across generations explore history, community, love, and healing. The collection consists of writing from Catherine Bain, George Elliott Clarke, Gayle Gonsalves, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Clifton Joseph, Dwayne Morgan, Motion, Jelani Nias (J-Wyze), Djanet Sears, Mansa Trotman, and the editor, Althea Prince. Editor Althea Prince was born in Antigua, the Caribbean, and has lived in Canada, the U.S., and England. She has taught sociology, at York University, University of Toronto, and Ryerson University–The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, where she won the Kay Livingstone Faculty Award in 2011. Dr. Prince is known for her work as an essayist and a fiction writer. Her published works include The Politics of Black Women’s Hair (cultural studies), Being Black (cultural studies), Loving This Man (novel), Ladies of the Night (stories), Feminisms and Womanisms: A Women’s Studies Reader (co-editor),How the East Pond got its Flowers and How the Starfish Got to the Sea (children).
Sample Review: “Joanne C. Hillhouse included her fascinating story The Man of Her Dreams. It describes a politician’s assistant falling in love with him, almost unknowingly, without realizing it until the day he marries one of her best friends. The scene where she blurts everything out at the wedding microphone is quite funny. A great lesson in not hiding true feelings, especially from yourself.”
‘She’d felt herself sinking. Welcomed the fantasies even, felt like it had been forever since anyone had made her feel anything. So much so, she’d started to think that love only existed in movies and that maybe all she was meant for was numbers. “Violet, always with her head in a book,” everyone said. And in the 35-and-over danger zone, she’d told herself that that wasn’t so bad.’
Story ‘Sexy Sadie’ in For Women: In Tribute to Nina Simone – Anthology edited by Debra Powell-Wright Publisher: Black Classic Press & MZWrightNow Productions (USA)
Genre: Fiction (Mixed Anthology) Year of Release: 2012 ISBN: 978-0-615-72990-9
For Women: in Tribute to Nina Simone offers a modern-day take on the issues addressed in Nina Simone’s 1966 Civil Rights era lyric, Four Women. The pieces are written by Black women from the United States, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe; and one African American male.
“Through producing this collection I have learned more than I had imagined—about love, about struggle, about lessons still to be learned.” (Debra Powell-Wright from the foreword)
“Come Saturday night, Sadie slipped into the sheath,
immediately feeling like a different woman.”
Story ‘Amelia at Devil’s Bridge’ (excerpted) in Concise Revision Course – English A – a Concise Revision Course for CSEC
Publisher: Harper Collins (UK). Genre: Fiction (Revision Text). Year of Release: 2017 ISBN-10: 0008208131/ISBN-13: 978-000820813
Synopsis: The Concise Revision Course for CSEC® English A provides comprehensive and authoritative guidance to preparing for the Paper 1 and Paper 2 examinations. It adopts a practical, supportive approach to help students build the skills and understanding needed for exam success. Organised by question paper, the Concise Revision Course recaps and models the skills needed to answer each question effectively, moving from scaffolded skills-building activities to full examination-style tasks. Each chapter in the Paper 1 section includes guidance on where students might go wrong when answering multiple-choice questions. Each chapter in the Paper 2 section ends with a full practice question and annotated sample responses to exemplify competent and superior performance. A final chapter of practice questions can help students prepare for examinations.
Sample review: ‘I read “Amelia at Devil’s Bridge” by Joanne C Hillhouse and it was absolutely amazing! it had the mixture of dark and spooky but just enough that it would not give me nightmares in the end of the day. The story itself gave me goosebumps and I wanted to know more about this girl.’ – reader review, Amazon (USA) ‘
Sample: “A thin girl crouches behind the cover of a cassi tree when she hears cars, more than one, coming up the path. She is naked and old enough now, at thirteen, to be embarrassed by that. Her mind is a fog and she is wet, as if she’s been in the water.”
Tonge, Gwendolyn Moreen in Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro–Latin American Biography (edited by Edited by Franklin W. Knight and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ).
Publisher: Oxford University Press. Genre: Non-fiction/Biographies. Year of Release: 2016. ISBN-13: 9780199935796/eISBN: 9780199935802
Synopsis: From Toussaint L’Ouverture to Pelé, the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography provides a comprehensive overview of the lives of Caribbeans and Afro-Latin Americans who are historically significant. It includes an entry on the late longtime host of the TV series Cooking Magic.
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‘A Saint in Everyday Clothes’ in A letter for My Mother (edited by Nina Foxx). Publisher: Strebor/Atria/Simon & Schuster (USA) Genre: Non Fiction (Anthology) Year of Release: 2014 ISBN-10: 1593095325/ISBN-13: 978-1593095321
Synopsis: Thirty-five female writers share their essays and letters—hilarious, heart wrenching, and everything in between—in this wise and poignant collection about mother-daughter relationships. Whether they’re from the US, Caribbean, India, or the UK, all of the contributors to Letter for My Mother share one thing in common: thoughts that have been left unsaid to their mothers and mother figures—until now. In this moving book, thirty-five women reveal the stories, reflections, confessions, and revelations they’ve kept to themselves for years and have finally put into words. Written through tears and pain, as well as joy and laughter, each offering presents the mother-daughter bond in a different light. Heartfelt and deeply meaningful, Letter for My Mother will inspire you to admire and cherish that special relationship that shapes every woman.
Sample Review: “I will keep this book forever and give it to my daughter when she is older. A Letter for My Mother documents the lives of women and their relationships with their mothers, from all over the world and all different cultures. I love how the book details negative mother/daughter relationships as well as ALL relationships with our mothers are something to learn and grow from.” – @Amazon
“There’s an old African proverb, ‘no one truly dies until no one remembers you’. If this is true, almost thirty years on from her death, at this writing, Tanty is still very much alive.”
Winner of an African American Literary Book Award.
Poem ‘Under Pressure‘ in A River of Stories (Volume 4 – Fire).
Publisher: Lift Education (New Zealand) for the Commonwealth Education Trust (London) Genre: Poetry (Mixed Anthology) Year of Release: 2016 ISBN-10: 0956929990/ISBN-13: 978-0956929990
Synopsis: From tiny island to vast territory, each of the member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations has a vibrant heritage of storytelling. With the central themes of fire, earth, water and air, this glorious 4-volume slipcase set brings together tales or poems from each of the fifty-three countries of the Commonwealth. Together, the four volumes comprise the classical elements recognized from ancient times across cultures.
Sample Review: “The fourth volume in this series, ‘A River of Stories- Fire’ is an amazing collection of stories and poems from across the Commonwealth…We chose ‘Volume 4- Fire’ for this year’s long list as we felt it offered so many opportunities for cross curricular work as well as offering excellent quality models for literacy…Teachers might also find this an invaluable source of stories and poems linked to the cultural backgrounds of children in their class.”- River of Stories Longlisted for the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award Quality Fiction Category (UK)
“Object under pressure
Like a harsh
Story ‘Breaking with Tradition’ in Round My Christmas Tree (edited by Carol Mitchell). Publisher: Caribbean Reads Publishing (St. Kitts/USA) Genre: Fiction (Mixed Anthology) Year of Release: 2014 ISBN-10: 0990865967 ISBN-13: 978-0990865964
Synopsis: What’s your favourite thing about Christmas in the Caribbean? Do you know what’s Anansi’s favourite Christmas treat? Have you ever tried stilt-walking? Eaten green carrot cake? Picked sorrel ’til your fingers turned red? In ‘Round My Christmas Tree you’ll find a little bit of everything that makes Christmas Christmas in the Caribbean. Stories, poems, recipes, and art that range from the sacred to irreverent and from heart-warming to just down-right funny. This collection of work features artists from many regions of the Caribbean, from seasoned authors such as Joanne C. Hillhouse of Antigua and Barbuda and newcomers such as Jamie Rangoo from Trinidad and Tobago.
“That was her mother, voice sharp. Brenda looked away from the doll that had had her hypnotized, and zigzagged through the crowd to her family’s side. She hadn’t realized she’d fallen so far behind.”
*Out of Print.
Photographed by Mali Olatunji for his book The Art of Mali Olatunji: Painterly Photography from Antigua and Barbuda (Hansib, 2015) & by Beowulf Sheehan for his book Author: The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2018).
#I decided (in 2019) to break this book list down in to sub-genres (as a general descriptor of the book type as a whole) to underscore that I am a writer who writes across genre lines. I didn’t even think of writing a specific genre deliberately until Musical Youth (2014) – more than 10 years after the publication of my first book – which I wrote specifically for the Burt Award for teen/young adult Caribbean fiction. I didn’t attempt a children’s story until Fish Outta Water (2013), which in its updated version is Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure (2017) – one of only two books I’ve published in the genre (so far). My first book The Boy from Willow Bend (2002) is classified here as teen/young adult because it has found its way on to schools reading lists as that and because it has as its protagonist a young, male boy, later teen (making it according to one reviewer a bildungsroman). When I wrote it, I wasn’t thinking of those classifications. I don’t mind them from a market position standpoint except when they prove limiting (as they sometimes have). I am thankful to have enough books that classifications are even necessary (it’s more than a #gyalfromOttosAntigua dared dream), but in terms of how I approach what I do, I am a writer; I tell stories. That’s it. – Joanne