Tag Archives: Antiguan and Barbudan Books

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I spent part of Saturday 15th December 2018 at the Best of Books Bookstore as part of their in-store display of local authors. Yes, we were right there to greet and hopefully entice readers doing their Christmas shopping.December 2018 3And yeah, we did some of that but we also caught up, talked movies, talked comics, talked comic book films – so you know it got spirited #booknerds We’re our own special brand of misfit cool – so don’t come for us.December 2018 2Do come for our books though. There is still time between now and Christmas. And since books – unlike bread – don’t go stale, there’ll be there after Christmas too.December 2018 1

So, let me tell you about these books real quick. Starting with the books (the pictured books) by the authors who were present.

Like Kimolisa Mings (far left in each of the posted pictures) most recent Into the Black Widow’s Web, and earlier releases If the Shoe Fits and She wanted a Love Poem. Into the Black Widow’s Web is a Caribbean mystery beginning with the death of Audra Kellman and featuring private investigator D’Angelo Marshall walking the razor’s edge of the law and getting caught up in a web of secrets, and a case that could change his life forever. Similarly If the Shoe Fits is a mystery from the perspective of Cindy Ellington who wakes up in the middle of a gruesome crime scene with no memory of the night before, and is now on the run and uncertain if she is the killer. She wanted a Love Poem is a poetry collection. You can read my review of it here on the blog. I’ll add this. In addition to being a talented and prolific writer, Kim is savvy – she self-publishes, and has attention grabbing titles and covers, runs workshops on and assists others with self-publishing, and is quite internet savvy (building and running sites like Bus Stop Antigua and others). She did a guest post about ebook publishing which is her primary lane a while ago; you can check that out here. Kim has a few books – A Friend in Need, I do…NOT, If the Shoe Fits, and Into the Black Widow’s Web – in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda

Then there’s Brenda Lee Browne (middle in the top two pictures) with her book London Rocks (her other book Just Write, a photo/lit journal isn’t pictured but I’ll mention it because she mentioned that there’s a new smaller version of the original book now available). London Rocks though is her first book of fiction and it tells the story of Dante a young Black man of West Indian descent finding his way in London, finding his way through music. So Dante gives you a window to the dub music/sound boy scene in late 70s/early 80s England and to the realities of being a Black body in a largely white world. When Brenda, mother of one, is not writing, she’s working behind the scenes of professional cricket both in the Caribbean and across the way in India; she’s also been a journalist and a creative writing/communications instructor and text writer. Both London Rocks and Just Write are in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda

Michelle Toussaint (middle, bottom picture) has a book called Now Taking a Lover which is a collection of poems chronicling a woman’s journey from spurned lover, to finding love. She is a secondary school science teacher (trained in forensic science and science education), wife, and mother of three. She also maintains two blogs, Death by Expectations and What the Hell is Real.

Finally, there is me, Joanne C. Hillhouse (far right in each of the pictures). In one picture I’m holding Musical Youth and on the table you can see Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure.

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In addition to being an author, I provide writing and writing related services, and I blog here (at Wadadli Pen, the online platform for the programme I started in Antigua and Barbuda to nurture and showcase the literary arts) and at jhohadli. Musical Youth was first runner-up for the Burt Award for teen/young adult Caribbean literature in 2014. It follows the drama – literally – of a group of teens involved in a summer production and deals with friendship, young love, family (including a bit of familial mystery), creating art, and coming to terms with colourism (in which lighter shades of blackness are given greater currency than darker). Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure is a picture book about the story of an Arctic seal stranded in the Caribbean and how he finds his way back home after making new friends. It is inspired by a true story. Lost! and its recently released Spanish edition is also in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda

There are some other Antiguan and Barbudan books on the table – Antigua My Antigua by Barbara Arrindell and How to Work Six Jobs on an Island by Shawn Maile (also in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda) – and on the shelf behind us – I can see Cooking Magic, a cook book from the country’s longest running TV show o the same name, and Explore Antigua and Barbuda by Gemma Handy (also in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda).

That’s it.

Check us out. Better yet, check out our books.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

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Book Notes – To Shoot Hard Labour

to shoot hard labour

“The first murder I witness at North Sound was when Harty Bab get killed. Back then the planters use to call the names of the workers each day before the start of work. Our money would be stopped or the bakkra could take us to the magistrate if was was not present to answer to our names. When our names was called we have to answer, ‘Yes, Massa.’ Now, the names was not called at any set time, like 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. No, mass would just call the names in his own sweet time and we just have to make sure we were there to answer. Sometimes we would be feeling we were early, but then we were late. Other times we’d be thinking we late and then we early.

One morning after the roll call, we have to wait for orders from the planter in charge of the gang. While we were there waiting, Massa Hinds youngest boy, Ralph, starts to imitate his father and goes calling our names. Everybody answer like usual until he gets to Harty Bab. At least she didn’t answer, ‘Yes, Massa.’ Now Massa Hinds was close by, and he hell her that she was marked absent for not answering. He say she disrespect his son and she was not going to get pay for that day. Then he further accuse her of grumbling bad words at him. In the end he so annoyed he decide to lash her with a cart whip. When he try this, she resist him, but that didn’t last for too long for she was over-powered and he beat her mercilessly. Then he forced her in to the estate cellar where he leave her locked up for some days.

When he give the order to release her, she was dead. Rats had bitten off her lips and nose.

Remember that whatever we have in mind to say to mass about this, we have to keep it to ourselves.” (p. 73-74, To Shoot Hard Labour: The Life and Times of Samuel Smith, an Antiguan Workingman 1877-1982

I was inspired to share this excerpt after attending the annual Watch Night ceremonies in recognition of our Emancipation as people of African descent whose ancestors endured the British Empire Atlantic Slave Trade (the BEAST, as the Reparations Support Commission in Antigua and Barbuda, organizers of Watch Night, termed it). Emancipation Day was August 1st 1834 but as the excerpt in this post-Emancipation narrative illustrates, that date did not mark the end of the atrocities. You can read about Watch Night in my series CREATIVE SPACE; you can keep up (if you wish) with the Reparations Support Commission of Antigua and Barbuda via their facebook page; and you can discover more Antiguan and Barbudan books here.

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 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on 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.

 

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery