Tag Archives: Tawhida Tanya Evanson

Antigua and Barbuda Literary Works Reviewed XIII

This picks up where the previous installments of Antigua and Barbuda Literary Works Reviewed pages left off (use the search feature to the right to dig them up). As with those earlier pages, it features reviews about A & B writings that I come across as I dig through my archives or surf the web. You’re welcome to send any credible/professional reviews that you come across as well. They’re not in any particular order, I just add them as I add them; some will be old, some will be new. It’s all shared in an effort to underscore, emphasize, and insist on Antigua and Barbuda’s presence in the Caribbean literary canon.

“I was immediately struck not only by Miss Hillhouse’s exceptional story telling skills but also by the urgency of the story’s themes and their relevance to Caribbean social discourse.  Through the story’s protagonist… Hillhouse indicts the Antiguan society in general …even as she points to the psychological damage that Amelia has suffered due to her father’s abandonment of the family. As a reader from Belize, a small Anglo-Caribbean country much like Antigua and Barbuda, I was impressed by the manner in which Hillhouse has been able to capture an essential Caribbeanness through both her themes and the use of Antiguan Creole. In fact, as a lecturer in the English Department at the University of Belize, I felt compelled to introduce my students to Hillhouse’s writings last semester. My Women in Literature class studied ‘Amelia’ and wrote some wonderful essays from a variety of critical perspectives.”  – Ivory Kelly, lecturer, University of Belize; author Point of Order (re ‘Amelia at Devil’s Bridge’ in Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean)

“A beautifully written story about a mother’s strength. Highly recommend reading.” – Hannah Sandoval, author of Arcamira (on ‘The Other Daughter’ in Adda)

“Antigua’s Joanne C. Hillhouse is a powerful, honest voice in the genre of West Indian fiction…There is integrity to Joanne’s work. Obvious is the ‘writer’s ear’ for effective characterization and narrative that stays true to Caribbean island experience.” – Barbara Jacobs-Small, editor, Island Where magazine (2004)

The three reviews immediately above and others can be read on Jhohadli

“Evanson writes Book of Wings in poetic vignettes, and her language brings the reader straight into the protagonist’s mind as she navigates her tumultuous heart. Evanson’s skill with poetry perfectly captures the protagonist’s journey of discovery and spiritual fulfillment because of how well her words make one reflect inwards.” – Canthius on Tawhida Tanya Evanson’s Book of Wings

“As much as Book of Wings is an engaging story of psychic transformation, it is also deeply rooted in sensorial experience, which saves it from slipping into the vagueness or loftiness that can sometimes hamper tales of spiritual awakening.” – Montreal Review of Books on Tawhida Tanya Evanson’s Book of Wings

“Tawhida Tanya Evanson’s first novel is a stunning testament to how the grief of heartbreak can bring us back to who we are. …Book of Wings is written in hyper-lucid vignettes only a poet of the highest order could master. …Book of Wings is grounded in astonishing turns of phrase. The fruit of experiences are so painful and profound they require deep reflection to reveal all the facets of meaning. Evanson operates as inflictor of wounds and healer, student and teacher. Book of Wings is more than a novel – it is a catalogue of revelation and redemption, surrender and solitude, a companion for those who choose to confront their own broken hearts. The author unravels the memory of her protagonist’s wounds, so we have the courage to heal ours.” – Quill & Quire on Tawhida Tanya Evanson’s Book of Wings

“I am so happy to have read her books because her stories are pure fun.” – theinfinitelimitsoflove.com on Rilzy Adams’ Go Deep

“If you love novellas, with a lot of heat and the feel-good factor, this is one you should try….This is the first book I read by Rilzy Adams, but it will not be the last. This was a very well written, very hot story that was not in any way limited by its length….If you like very hot reads with low stakes conflict, I truly recommend it.” – Scorchingbookreviews.com on Rilzy Adams’ Go Deep

“An all-time favorite book and one of the winners of The Ripped Bodice Award for Excellence in Romance Fiction, this little novella is simply wonderful.” – Bookriot.com on Rilzy Adams’ Go Deep

“Systemic racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, the ongoing critique of police brutality and abuses of power—they loom large. In “Violins” the poet concludes, “We are all in prison. / This is the lesson of the twenty-first century.” This is not just a Foucaultian notion of the machinations of state power, or of Bentham’s panoptic, all-seeing surveillance structures. It is an allusion to the disproportionate rates of incarceration of Black males. All races are implicated in such a world.” – Andre Bagoo for The Rumpus on Rowan Ricardo Phillips’ Living Weapon

“I had NPR on in the fall and I heard a poem called “Violins” read by Rowan Ricardo Phillips. I loved the sound of it. Words are repeated and then rhymed and off-rhymed: the verse links sounds and concepts, combines jarring images and language. The poem ends with a date: 1916, and it expresses a bold vision of the 20th century. It’s the best poem in Phillips’s new collection, Living Weapon. It begins “He never saw a violin. / But he saw a lifetime of violence.” Right away Phillips makes this unlikely association of violins and violence — a surprising but apt comment on our current era’s juxtaposition of white privilege and Black Lives Matter.” – Poetry Review: The Verse of Rowan Ricardo Phillips — Let’s Get Weaponized? by Ed Meek

‘But this preoccupation with meta-definition is not entirely self-referential. It’s difficult, at times, to turn a page in Living Weapon without bumping into a familiar face: Elizabeth Bishop arrives just pages after W. H. Auden; Orpheus seems to pop up every 10 pages or so; and, in “Who is Less than a Vapor?,” Phillips offers a loose reinterpretation of a passage of John Donne’s prose — which he calls not “quite a found poem or an erasure” but rather “language in the crux of being instrument, weapon, and tool all at once.”’ – “Stronger Than Steel”: On Rowan Ricardo Phillips’s Living Weapon by Will Brewbaker in the Los Angeles Book Review

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“The author excels as a storyteller, providing highly informative glimpses into the history, social life, and linguistic landscape of the island of Antigua… is adept at capturing and reproducing the various language registers of Antigua and Barbuda. The dialogue in Antiguan and Barbudan dialect therefore has a higher degree of authenticity. Hol’ de Line and Other Stories has the advantage of appealing to old and young readers and offers Antiguans and Barbudans the opportunity to see what their society was years ago, its history, customs, language and food.” – Bernadette Farquhar on Mary Geo Quinn’s Hol’ de Line and Other Stories in The Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books, Volume 12, Summer 2019

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