This site is a labour of love – mostly I’m driven by the love but sometimes I feel the labour. I’m feeling it today, so I thought I’d play a little. I typically do book memes over on my personal site but I thought this one could be fun and site consistent. So with a nod to Kristen at Kristen Kraves Books, where I found it, and Alyce at the Bumbling Book Blogger, who created it, and featuring only books from Antigua and Barbuda, for that site consistency, let’s count to 10 (Disclaimer: I haven’t read all these books and I may include my own if they fit; I’m basically going with what pops in to my head first – this is just for fun remember – referencing the site’s database of Antiguan and Barbudan Writings).
1st Book in a Series – The History of Bethesda and Christian Hill by Joy Lawrence kicks off a series of folk investigations in to the history of communities in Antigua and Barbuda. It’s followed by The Footprints of Parham, and Barbuda and Betty’s Hope, with likely more to come.
2 or more copies of the same book – the easy one here is one of mine (author copies and what not), so I’ll eenie meenie and go with my Caribbean faerie tale With Grace, which was a 2017 official pick for the US Virgin Islands Summer Read Programme (which makes it a good pick actually as I have both the originally hard cover and the paperback with the seal as an official pick for this programme). Fun fact: I had surgery shortly after this book came out and one of my recovery goals was to play mas again and specifically to play the magical character, the mango tree faerie, from this book – we actually thought about doing a whole float at one point creating the whole world of the story, and then thought about doing a stilt version of the mango tree, but downsized our imaginations). It was just me and two of my friends after all. We three were Grace’s Merrymakers, an officially registered Carnival troupe.
Hopefully, seeing all the fun we had playing her (the mango tree faerie) will entice you to introduce her and the picture book she is a character in to your young readers.
3 colours on the cover – I’m going to go with past Wadadli Pen finalist and award winning romance author Rilzy Adams’ Birthday Shot , which was recently a nominee for the Rebel Women Lit’s Caribbean Readers’ Awards and the Romance book industry’s Swoonies, for the deep red lipstick, the sparkly silver eye shadow, and that popping brown melanin glow.
4 or more perspectives – Ladies of the Night by Althea Prince. Okay this is a bit of a cheat as it’s a short story collection, different points of view are part of the recipe. But the cake is sweet and textured, so I’ll allow it. Ladies of the Night references a particularly pungent nocturnal flower which works beautifully as a pun, while the stories capture the complex lives of Caribbean women in an enticing book that should be bigger part of the study of womanist Caribbean literature than it is. Prince is one of Antigua and Barbuda’s modern literary pioneers (writing and publishing when the field was a lot thinner and still) and one of our most prolific and profound with just a handful of her books making up the rotating Wadadli Pen site banner at this writing.
A 5 star read – I turned to Goodreads for this one (finding a book with an average 5 star rating was hard, as it should be) and extracted Painter and Poet: The Wonderful World of Ashley Bryan – the multi-award winning veteran children’s book writer and illustrator, and actual World War II veteran, was born in the US to Antiguan parents. Here he is on one of his trips to Antigua, interacting with fans at the Public Library.
6 or more short stories – the obvious choice is So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End: an Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing, Vol. 1, edited by Althea Prince, because who else could pull together so many classic and contemporary, established and new voices from at home and abroad than a writer with Prince’s cred and connection. The book features about 30 authors, a mix of poetry and fiction.
A 7 on the cover of the spine – it seems fitting to follow the most recent anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan literature which what I believe to be the first (until proven different), Young Antiguans Write: Prize-winning Selections in Poetry and Prose from School Creative Writing Annual Competition, 1968-1978. If there is an antecedent to Wadadli Pen, it is Young Antiguans Write and the project that birthed it, which I was not even aware of (I don’t believe) when I launched Wadadli Pen, to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda in 2004. The culmination of 10 years of a literary arts development programme, it had ended before I knew myself. I discovered the book at the home of one of the student writers featured in Young Antiguans Write, a founding partner of Wadadli Pen, and author in her own right, D. Gisele Isaac – yes, I’m using the lack of YAW cover to sneak in another book – that like Prince’s work should be receiving more academic attention than it is as a pioneer work vis-a-vis gay themes in Caribbean literature.
8 letters in the title – You know I had to include a Jamaica Kincaid (come on) and I’m going with Mr. Potter which is not one that comes up often in her ouevre in part because it’s the rare outlier in the potential Nobel Laureate’s catalogue that deals with the father instead of the mother.
Book ends on a page ending in 9 – yikes. Ok, I’ll need Amazon’s help for this one (I was hoping to get through this without a Bezos reference – the image of him in space suit and cowboy hat like a caricature of a billionaire is still too raw). And it tells me that Andy E. Williams’ In the Rum Shop and Other Flash Fiction has 39 pages.
10 books in a series – As my mother’s people (from the French Creole island of Dominica) would say, mondieu (sounds like mowj-yay), I don’t believe we have a local author with 10 books in a series. So, I’ll mention one who has a ton of books instead (close enough?). Among her many self-published romance books Kimolisa Mings has four books in her Friends to Lovers series – Book 1: More than Friends, Book 2: Just Friends, Book 3: Yesterday’s Gone, Book 4: Tomorrow’s End – and other series as well, which may well add up to 10 serialized books (There’s Integration and Oration: Integration Book 2, and The Bachaanal Sweet and Bachaanal Tu’n Up are tagged as Eros 1 and 2, respectively), and there may well be more -she’s pretty prolific.
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, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). 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.