Have you watched all the latest shows on Netflix? Are you tired of looking at travel throwbacks on Instagram? If the answer is yes, we have a suggestion for you – five authors that could make you connect with the Caribbean.
With travel plans put on hold and passports resting at the bottom of your drawer, there is still a great inexpensive way to explore, at least with our imagination that is. How might that be you ask? The answer is simple: by joining these 5 authors that will transport you to the Caribbean Islands. Take a plunge into their transparent waters, explore topics ranging from immigration and colonisation, to more contemporary issues of class and identity. There is so much more to the rich history of the Caribbean than paradise postcards that come to mind when you think about the Islands. Follow our reading recommendation, and discover aspects unknown to so many. Where history, cultures and personal experiences all come together.
You can start in Jamaica, where Colin Channer, the so-called “Bob Marley with a Pen”, sets the scene for his first two full-length novels. Waiting in Vain and Satisfy My Soul (also titles of two of Marley’s songs). Both dig deep into some core spiritual and social Jamaican perspectives.
Next stop, Barbados with George Lamming’s In The Castle Of My Skin. Originally published in 1953 by Michael Joseph. The reader gets an insight into what it was like growing up during the social upheavals and the dramatic changes which took place in Barbados during the 30s and 40s, which eventually lead to independence from Great Britain.
Relationships with the old Empire are the backdrop for Annie John by J. Kincaid. A story of a girl who grows up in Antigua and fights for finding her place within Antiguan society. Secret discoveries and emotions wrench her away from what she calls home, the Island of Antigua.
Travel to St Lucia through the poem of Derek Walcott Omeros. This poem in 5 books will take you on an Odyssey-style journey of two local fishermen. It’s an intersection of characters in modern day St Lucia, the heart of the story feels simple and familiar.
Final stop, Trinidad and Tobago thanks to V.S. Naipaul and his Miguel Streets. A collection of linked short stories, where Trinidadian culture mix with the author’s Indian background.
by Camilla Pelliccia – Assistant General Manager at Rum Kitchen Brixton