After an exciting literary year in 2014, I decided to kick it up a notch. The 2015 Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival is taking place at the end of the month. And I’ll be there! Thanks to the suggestion by Jacqueline, who blogs at The Big Sea, April will be devoted to reading books by authors that will attend the festival. And Jacqueline will be there too!
The Caribbean literature I’ve read was set in Haiti or the Dominican Republic, including The Farming of Bones, the first book I read by Edwidge Danticat. However, I read ‘Til the Well Runs Dry around this time last year which was partially set in Trinidad.
I've already started The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson. She's known for writing speculative fiction and I'm enjoying the supernatural elements of this story. Goodreads describes it as a book that “transports readers across centuries and civilizations as it fearlessly explores the relationships women have with their lovers, their people, and the divine.”
The festival’s website has a captivating image of Karen Lord, alongside her novel The Galaxy Game, on the front page. But I decided to read Redemption In Indigo which is her debut novel. The story centers around a woman who leaves her husband and receives a gift “which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world." Caribbean literature, inspired partly by a Senegalese folktale, this book falls into the speculative fiction genre as well.
I learned about Earl Lovelace when I stumbled upon The Wine of Astonishment at one of my favorite used bookstores. But when I started researching his novels, I decided to read Salt, a novel set in Trinidad. The Goodreads description of this book sucked me right in, “One hundred years after Emancipation, the diverse people of Trinidad, African, Asian, and European, have not settled into the New World. In Salt, an unforgettable cast of men and women strive with wit and passion to make sense of life in an evolving homeland.”
I’m beginning to appreciate short stories, so that helped me decide on Tiphanie Yanique’s How to Escape From a Leper Colony: A Novella and Short Stories. It’s her debut collection set mostly in the U.S Virgin Islands. Her most recent novel, Land of Love and Drowning, was published last summer. A closer look at the Goodreads description of this one has me thinking I’ll read it too, “Chronicling three generations of an island family from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning is a novel of love and magic, set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world. “
Lit Fest Follow-up Posts:
Bocas Lit Fest
The Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival
Celebrating books, writers, and writing from the Caribbean and the rest of the world.