Iron Ballons edited by Colin Channer

Colin Channer is a Jamaican writer considered as Bob Marley with a pen ,he has written a number of Novel and edited this collection ,the Calabash writers workshop ,it is a project to help promote writing in the Caribbean ,they also hold a number of festivals to celebrate the writing from the region and from africa ,they also supported budding writers ,such as some in this collection .

The collection covers the Caribbean ,also some set in new york in the ex pat community ,the two stories that touch me ,were the last a longer story called Marley’s ghost ,now any book from Jamaica with a collection of stories is bound to have at least one mention of the most well-known person from Jamaica ,so in this story we find a man on the edge of death with Marley’s exodus album playing ,as he lays there he tries to compare his own life to that of the huge star as he is doing so he seems to get some peace as he sees parallels in there   ,they both have cancer and other similarities come together .This gives him some peace this story was written by Kwame Dawes ,he grew up in Jamaica and is also an actor and poet and is currently at south Carolina university.  the second is Sharon leach ,a story of a hotel worker that gets tempted to the dark side after an offer to spend the night with a rich couple from texas .Now at first she is very nervous and worried about how she will be seen ,but after wards she says that was easy ,this is maybe a cautionary tale of what happens when you are faced with temptation of easy money .A clever tale by a new writer .

“Ah , my brown sugar “.Peters voice cuts into my thought like a blade striking wood ,startling me so that I jump guiltly.Peter and his blond wife are a couple from texas ,in the fairway lands of cowboys and John Wayne .Today I am on housekeeping duty ,which is why I am in their room .

A girl in a hotel gets drawn to the darker side of holiday life in a story by Sharon Leach .

Now the stories vary in this collection from the average to the stand out ,they all seem to have a flavour of the Caribbean and give you an insight into the Caribbean spirit and soul .There is a feel of how traditional in some ways the Caribbean community can be .I ve not read many books from Caribbean and just said on Kinnas post the other day I need to try to read some more from this part of the world .This collection was another good introduction to the varied voices of the region .It was published in 2006 by Akashic books here is a list of writers and stories in the book

“The Last Jamaican Lion” by Marlon James
“Parting” by Alwin Bully
“Someone to Tell” by A-dZiko Simba
“Siblings” by Rudolph Wallace
“How to Beat a Child the Right and Proper Way” by Colin Channer
“All Ah We Is One” by Elizabeth Nunez
“The Anger Meridian” by Kaylie Jones
“I Want to Disturb My Neighbor” by Geoffrey Philp
“A Little Embarassment for the Sake of Our Lord” by Konrad Kirlew
“Sugar” by Sharon Leach
“Marley’s Ghost” by Kwame Dawes

Have you read much Caribbean fiction ?

18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kinna
    Jun 16, 2011 @ 08:51:19

    An interesting list of contemporary English-speaking Caribbean authors. I have not read this collection. But from the list, I’m familiar with the works of Dawes, James and Nunez. Philip I know through his blog on Caribbean writers. I recommend Jim Crow’s Devil by Marlon James.


  2. Man of la Book
    Jun 16, 2011 @ 11:40:06

    Sounds like an interesting book. I think Jamaicans are lucky that they have a musician which is the soundtrack of their lives. I have one as well but I think it’s sad that many others don’t.


  3. Tony
    Jun 16, 2011 @ 11:44:23

    Once more Stu you impress me with your globetrotting talents 🙂


  4. amymckie
    Jun 16, 2011 @ 12:12:56

    Sounds like an interesting collection Stu, and I hadn’t heard much of any of these authors previously so I must check it out.


  5. Heather
    Jun 16, 2011 @ 20:14:28

    I lived in the Caribbean for a while during highschool. What a shame that the only books we studied were written by long dead Brits. I have only read a few current Caribbean authors. This looks like a good choice to get acquainted with some-new-to-me ones. thanks.


  6. Eva
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 03:21:49

    I started reading Caribbean lit a couple of years ago, and I love, love, love it! 😀 I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface, though, so thanks for including the list: I’m bookmarking it.


  7. Anbolyn
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 15:44:54

    One of my favorite classes in college was on Caribbean women’s fiction. The authors we read and the themes we explored have stayed with me through the years. These stories sound as fascinating to me as my class was.


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June 2011


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