Site Updates (Home Home, New Daughters, JWP)

ETA: Linking this one up with The Sunday Post meme and adding that if you want to know what I thought about Quincy, Nappily Ever After, Leave No Trace, and  the season 9 premiere of The Walking Dead, check this post from earlier in the week. Also, since finishing Home Home (review linked below), I have started another one from the pile of Burt Award winning teen/young adult Caribbean books, Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith Dennis. So far, so good. Oh I also finished Faye Kellerman’s Straight into Darkness this past week but due to work commitments didn’t do a full review, though you can read my quick take in the listing at the main Blogger on Books Vl page.

I finished Lisa Allen-Agostini’s Home Home. Review excerpt:

Lisa Allen-Agostini’s  Burt award winning book Home Home is a wrenching read, and yet a hopeful one. It’s tough at first as it drops you right in to 14-year old protagonist and narrator Kayla’s post-suicide-attempt-recovery. She’s in Edmonton, Canada to heal in a way she cannot  Home Home in Trinidad where the empathy toward mental illness and suicide and otherness generally (the aunt she lives with in Canada is a lesbian in exile) is comparably low. When we meet her she’s having a panic attack over bus routes. You may get exasperated with her, I’m looking at you my Caribbean people (because, yes, you might find her mopey and self-indulgent), but hang in there. Hanging in her headspace will, if you are open to it, give you valuable insight to what living with chronic mental illness – in this particular case anxiety and depression – is like. For a teen/young adult reader with these issues it can also be a much-needed reminder that, they are not alone.

Read the full review.

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I’ve also updated my Books page on account of my new story Evening Ritual in New Daughters of Africa, a follow up to the seminal Daughters of Africa – which pulls stories from all over the continent and its diaspora. I am thrilled to be repping Antigua and Barbuda.

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Finally, still time to register for my October sessions, Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series.

October 2018ETA 2: On Friday, I spoke with a niece of Eileen Hall who contacted me to share more insights on the local writer I had only recently-ish discovered and done some digging about, resulting in this post. It was an interesting (and fun) discussion about a woman who in many ways sounds like she was ahead of her time, and about ancestry and related things. I’ve been promised more information which I’ll be happy to share when I get it.

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268 in the Global Anthology

My story The Other Daughter, which, you may remember was published earlier this year in Adda, an online literary platform by Commonwealth Writers, is now a selection for The Culture Trip’s “Global Anthology, an initiative that highlights a work of prose from every country on Earth, as well as many nations, states, sovereignties, territories, and flag-less regions.”

It’ll be a lot of reading to get through but I look forward to it.global anthology

Here’s what Michael Barron, the Culture Trip’s US literary editor said in his intro to the anthology:

“As with any project covering the entire world, assembling an anthology on this scale required a few allowances in its methods. Only three of its criteria are therefore invariable—every piece had to be written in or translated into English; every writer had to be native to the country represented (no expats); and all 193 member states of the United Nations had to be present. That we ended up with over 220 selections is a barometer of how fraught international ‘recognition’ can be, and even this number doesn’t recognize the entirety of Earth’s many human-made divisions.

The variety of prose and the political states of regions found here is an indicator of the many geo-socio-literary challenges that presented themselves as the Global Anthology developed. It was just as difficult, say, to find a writer from the Central African Republic, as it was to choose a single American author to represent the country. We sought to feature as many under-known and contemporary writers (to English and Western readers) as we could, often cold emailing people after hours of Google sleuthing. In cases where we were able to make contact and received permission to translate and publish their work, we would then conduct interviews with these writers for the site. Subsequently, much of this material marks the first appearance by, and introduction to, these writers (and in some special cases the first appearance from a country or region) in English. That they understood and contributed directly to the vision of this project was a huge encouragement for us to keep going. Thank you.”

With only one author per country, he acknowledged, “This isn’t a perfect anthology, but it is a sincere attempt to cast as wide a literary light on the world as we could for English readers. And it will be a living thing, its scope periodically updated and expanded until we’ve accounted for a voice from within every human border. We hope it spurs similar projects in other languages. There is no singular “voice” that one can give to the world; we let the type of writing represented be determined by what we encountered in a certain area: whether it be hospital stories from Andorra, or queer literature from Greenland, or postmodernism from Honduras, or black satire from Eritrea. Along the way we discovered the developing literature of some countries and the robust yet undiscovered oeuvres of others. Obscurity, however, is subjective: we can confirm that there is no place on Earth (not even Antarctica) that literature isn’t written.”

I am thrilled to be repping for the 268 (Antigua and Barbuda) in this anthology. If you haven’t read The Other Daughter Yet, I hope you’ll give it a read and also read the interview conducted with me by Mr. Barron.

‘Open’ the anthology here.