You might be interested to know that three Antiguans-Barbudans are included among the 200 images in the new book Author: the Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan.
This collection features multi-award winning, critically acclaimed darlings (Salman Rushdie who also wrote the book’s foreword, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood whose Handmaid’s Tale is itself currently an award winning, critically acclaimed darling, Jonathan Franzen, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jamaica’s own Marlon James, Claudia Rankine, and Ishion Hutchinson, Wole Soyinka, Jacqueline Woodson, Colson Whitehead), commercially successful heavyweights (David Baldacci, J. K. Rowling whose Harry Potter series is its own sub-industry, Neil Gaiman, Walter Mosely, John Irving, Irvine Welsh), authors known for pushing the conversation forward (Noam Chomsky, Malcolm Gladwell, Gloria Steinem, Charles M. Blow, Masha Gessen, Roxane Gay), authors of note who have passed to the after life (E. L. Doctorow, Chinua Achebe, Edward Albee), the uncategorizable (John Lewis, Joe Biden), and (for me) personal favourites (Tayari Jones, Edwidge Dandicat).
The three Antiguan and Barbudan authors are Jamaica Kincaid (born Elaine Potter Richardson in Antigua, now US based and one of the most celebrated authors out of the Caribbean) – author of At the Bottom of the River, Annie John, Annie Gwen Lilly Pam and Tulip, A Small Place, Lucy, The Autobiography of My Mother, My Brother, Mr. Potter, My Garden Book, Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalayas, See Now Then; Rowan Ricardo Phillips (who is technically American of Antiguan-Barbudan descent, which counts in my view) – author of The Ground, Heaven, When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness, The Circuit: a Tennis Odyssey, and a translation of Ariadne in the Grotesque Labyrinth; and (yours truly) Joanne C. Hillhouse – author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure.
I don’t have the images but I can try to describe them – Ricardo Phillips, for instance, is wearing a blue striped suit and lying on his stomach, legs crossed and raised behind him so that his soles are in view, posed with a book – Lustra by Ezra Pound; Ms. Kincaid is in close up, wearing black on black, red lipstick, one of her signature head scarves, eyes meeting the camera head-on; while my (JCH) eyes are closed, face – and mouth- open in laughter, with red hair and zebra stripes. My picture was not a posed or commissioned portrait so much as a candid in the green room of the Westbeth Centre, where I was in 2014 for a reading as part of the PEN World Voices Festivals’ Literary Safari.
I got a copy in the mail just last week and have been reading it over the weekend. The author shares his stories of how some of his photographs were made and a bit of his own journey as a photographer – in the introduction. The stories make me curious to go back and read what he said about each photo. That’s Donna Tartt on the cover by the way, author of The Goldfinch and The Secret History, whom he asked for her poise and grace but by his own words didn’t really need to since she brought it. Wild to be in this collection with so many lions of literature; humbled to be in their company.
A couple of launches are scheduled for New York in the fall. Visit the photographer’s page for details.
As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, Musical Youth and With Grace). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.