Derek Walcott, riding the waves. Photo Copyright © 2016.
MARTIN M. BOYCE, a self-styled occasional writer, is the winner of The Carolle Bourne Award for Literary Innovation for 2016.
Boyce won with “Thin Line Between,” a piece that meshes (or mashes) poetry and prose, Standard English with Nation Language, Barbadian culture seemingly with every culture—challenging them all along the way.
During the 50s and 60s—after the Second World War, before independence—hundreds of Barbadians left their island home for countries like England, the United States, Canada. They left in search of a better life they felt they could not or would not achieve if they stayed in Barbados.
Some of these expatriates succeeded brilliantly in their quests, distinguishing their country of birth (Barbados broke away peacefully from Britain in 1966) as much as themselves. Others were less fortunate. All faced hardships: racism, joblessness, the cold comforts of an alien environment.
GEORGE LAMMING has achieved what few in this country would have thought possible. His novel In the Castle of my Skin elevates our common speech to poetry and our common lives to literature, infusing it all with a gentle humour that allows the reader to “laugh off the licks.” It is a bildungsroman in the usual style, the story of a boy becoming a man, but companioned with the story of a people moving from infancy and dependence to maturity and self-determination.
THE CULTURAL CRITIC Imran Siddiquee, writing for The Atlantic, once commented, “If the United States were to truly transform into a totalitarian state, or suffer an environmental catastrophe, it's safe to say society’s deepest divisions wouldn't magically disappear overnight.” For the US, race would certainly be among those "deepest divisions." And yet YA dystopian fiction, even of the American variety, often appears to exist in a racial vacuum.
The peculiar dichotomy that is evident in Anatomy of a Scream (Pudding House Press, 30pp, 2007) suggests there is a beauty and redemption in the inevitable sufferings and tribulations that are seemingly our birthright. The work as a whole is modern and edgy, and typifies a pre-apocalyptic view of humanity as it tethers on the brink of sanity.
What Robert Edison Sandiford gives us in his latest short story collection, Fairfield, is the apparent restoration and enhancement of stories that were bound and concealed in a stationery box belonging to a deceased Barbadian-born author. Sandiford brings thirteen of these “Last Sad Stories of G. Brandon Sisnett” (the collection’s subtitle) to us in a seemingly random way which propels us to create an order out of seeming disorder.
THE ArtsEtc Independence Reading List is now six years old!
The IndyList, as we like to call it, is a selection of 12 Barbadian books to make friends with over the coming year.
The list, which first appeared in 2011, is part of the Editors' ongoing "Mapping Our Literature" mission, which promotes awareness of and celebrates Barbadian books and authors. Each year, we recommend new, classic and noteworthy titles in fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and children’s literature.
Photo Copyright © by Richard Lautens/Toronto Star
IT WAS three times a charm for Allison Cadogan.
On January 9, the Barbadian writer won the 2015 Frank Collymore Literary Award for her novel manuscript The Economist.
She had previously been shortlisted in 2010, earning Joint 2nd Prize with Glenville Lovell (there was no top winner that year) and in 2012, when another manuscript of hers won the Prime Minister's Award.
This time, she alone held the coveted Colly—Barbados' most lucrative literary prize.