As those of you who read my book reviews may have noticed, I have acquired a taste for young adults books. I have reviewed a few Caribbean titles, which I very much enjoyed reading (please click on links to some of my reviews here and here). I will be following up with more reviews, but meanwhile, if you are anywhere near the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus in Kingston, do go along to the Main Library tomorrow evening (Wednesday, October 24 at 6:30 p.m.) for a feast of Caribbean Young Adult Literature. And buy some books!
Here is the press release from Jamaican publisher Blue Banyan Books:
October 21, 2018
Readings and Writer’s Lyme Make for Week of Diverse Caribbean Literature
Kevin Jared Hosein (Trinidad), winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize will be part of a dynamic roster of literary events scheduled for Kingston, Mandeville and Ocho Rios. Hosein, joined by Jamaica’s A-dZiko Simba Gegele and Puerto Rico’s Viviana Prado-Núñez will be visiting schools, children’s homes and staging public events from October 23 – 27, providing the island with diverse and stirring readings that showcase the range of contemporary Caribbean literature.
One of the signature events of the tour will take place on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, in what promises to be an evening of stellar literature when Hosein, Simba Gegele and Prado-Núñez will be joined by Colleen Smith-Dennis, whose novel Inner City Girl (LMH Publishing) had won third place in the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature in 2014. The reading will take place at the Multifunctional Room, Main Library, UWI Mona at 6:30 pm.
The UWI reading, simply dubbed 4 Writers, 1 Night, will be followed by a similar event in Mandeville on Thursday, October 25, at 6:00 pm. This event is being staged to raise funds for the Manchester Parish Library, which is celebrating its 80th year, while its parent agency, the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), will be celebrating its 70th anniversary. Along with readings by the three authors, there will be blind auctions and hors d’oeuvres.
The Mandeville event is being spearheaded by children’s author Jean Hawthorn-DaCosta (Jamaica in My Tummy and My Toilet is Bigger Than Yours), who seized on the opportunity to raise funds for the library.
Then, on Saturday evening writers will have a chance for an intimate, in-depth discussion with the award-winning authors to talk about craft. Diana McCaulay, whose novel Gone to Drift copped both a 2nd place in the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature and the Vic Reid Prize for young adult literature, will join the discussion. The Writer’s Lyme, sponsored by JAMCOPY, will take place at the St. Andrew Parish Library, 2 Tom Redcam Drive, October 27, 2018, at 4:30 pm.
Hosein is the author of The Beast of Kukuyo (Blouse & Skirt Books), which earned the second prize in the 2018 Burt Award. Hosein’s earlier novel, The Repenters (Peepal Tree Press) was longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize as well as the Dublin International Literary Prize. Hosein shares the latter honour with Simba Gegele, whose novel, All Over Again (Blouse & Skirt Books), was longlisted for the Dublin prize in 2015. All three authors have won the Burt Award, with Simba Gegele (2014) and Prado-Núñez (The Art of White Roses, Papillote Press, 2017) both winning first prize.
“The Caribbean children’s and YA landscape is getting increasingly dynamic,” said the head of Blouse & Skirt Books Tanya Batson-Savage. “This tour will allow people to get to know some of the great titles that have come to light through the support of the Burt Awards, which introduces three new titles to the world every year. We’re happy to have published six of them with another three forthcoming,” Batson-Savage said.
In celebration of its 70th anniversary, the JLS will also be staging a symposium on Caribbean Children’s and YA Literature, which is one of the stops on the tour. The symposium will take place on Wednesday, October 24, 2018.
The tour came about through the combined forces of local Independent publisher Blue Banyan Books, under their imprint Blouse & Skirt Books which teamed up with the JLS and CODE, presenters of the Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature.