By NAN ET Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 16, 2016: The Caribbean’s excellent literary tradition remains in good hands with several Caribbean-born authors keeping the strong institution alive. Here are five you should know:
Trinidad & Tobago-born, US-based Elizabeth Nunez is novelist whose books have won a number of awards. Her book ‘Prospero’s Daughter,’ received the New York Times Editors’ Choice and 2006 Novel of the Year from Black Issues Book Review while ‘Bruised Hibiscus’ won the 2001 American Book Award and ‘Beyond the Limbo Silence’ won the 1999 Independent Publishers Book Award.
Additionally, her book ‘Boundaries’ was selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice and nominated for a 2012 NAACP Image Award while ‘Anna In-Between’ was selected for the 2010 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence as well as a New York Times Editors’ Choice and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal.
Nunez, who began writing at age nine when she won the first place prize for the Tiny Tots writing contest in the Trinidad Guardian, was also shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Discretion. She migrated to the US at age 19 and today serves as a distinguished professor of English at Hunter College–CUNY, New York City.
This Jamaican writer has said she is fuelled by a love of all types of stories and awed by the magic within them. Tanya Batson-Savage has written for the page, the stage and the screen. Her work has appeared in BIM, Riddim, Jamaica Journal, Small Axe, Moods of Jamaica, and Caribbean Beat. She is the author of ‘Pumpkin Belly and Other Stories’ and is also publisher and editor-in-chief of Blue Moon Publishing and its imprint Blouse and Skirt Books. Batson-Savage holds a BA in Literatures in English, an MA in English and a MPhil in Cultural Studies from the U.W.I. Mona.
Nevis-born Carol Ottley-Mitchell is a Caribbean children’s author who has penned the books: the ‘Caribbean Adventure Series’ books, the ‘Chee Chee’ picturebook series as well as the picture book ‘Seascapes,’ and the YA book, ‘Another Day.’ She was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.
Bernice L. McFadden
American-born, Barbados-roots author Bernice L. McFadden has gotten praise for her ‘Gathering of Waters,’ a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi, a site both significant and infamous in the US’ collective story as a nation.
McFadden was born, raised and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the eldest of four children and the mother of one daughter, R’yane Azsa. McFadden turned to writing after being frustrated with corporate America. She enrolled at Fordham University and signed up for courses that concentrated on Afro-American history and literature, as well as creative writing, poetry and journalism. In 1997, McFadden quit her job and dedicated seven months to re-writing the novel that would become, “SUGAR.”
In February of 1999, after nearly ten years, four drafts and 73 rejection letters – SUGAR was finally acquired by Dutton Publishers. Published in the winter of 2000, SUGAR is still in print and in 2010 celebrated its tenth anniversary. McFadden also writes racy, humorous fiction under the pseudonym, Geneva Holliday.
Guyana-born author Iman Baksh received the first prize for his first novel, Children of the Spider at the CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Literature held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, as part of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.
The Burt Award for Caribbean Literature was established by CODE – a Canadian charitable organization that has been advancing literacy and learning for 55 years – in collaboration with the Literary Prizes Foundation. The Award is the result of a close collaboration with CODE’s local partner in the Caribbean, The Bocas Lit Fest.
Baksh grew up splitting his time between urban and rural Guyana. He is attracted to stories of heroism and monstrosity. Among his most influential interests are anime, comics, science fiction, politics, psychology and economics. Children of the Spider is his first novel.
All five authors will appear at A Caribbean Literary Lime’s ‘Readings, Rhum and Reasoning,’ set for South Oxford Space, 138 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY from 7-10 p.m.
Donation is $10 and for more information call 718-783-8345. The event is hosted by Caribbean Cultural Theater, which has been an advocate for Caribbean and Caribbean-American artists in the Diaspora as well as Caribbean Reads, Read Jamaica and The Caribbean Research Center at Medgar Evers College.