Stories from 4 Antiguan and Barbudan Authors to Read on Antigua and Barbuda Independence DayOct 31, 2021 02:00PM ● By Oga Africa
Happy Independence Day, Antigua and Barbuda! On November 1st, 1981, this Caribbean country gained independence from the British. To celebrate, we are honoring stories from 4 exceptional Antiguan and Barbudan writers.
Jamaica Kincaid’s short story Girl, published in 1978, gives a glimpse into the lives and values of women in Antigua and Barbuda, which include rituals like hand washing clothes, clothes making, ideals of modesty, vegetables grown in the country like ‘dasheen’, the suggested lewdness of ‘benna’, Antigua’s Calypso music, and more.
Kincaid’s fiction novel Mr. Potter published in 2002, explores life, class, and culture in Antigua, and the theme of broken family structures through telling a story of a man named Mr. Potter and his quest for fulfillment. When he dies, his estranged daughter returns to Antigua and connects with the legacy of her father’s life.
Althea Prince’s novel Loving this Man, published in 2001, tells a story of transformation through chronicling a journey of a Caribbean woman, Saychelle, who moves to Canada and struggles to find her footing in the midst of race and racism, migration, and her marriage. Prince, who is Antiguan-Canadian, intricately weaves the aforementioned concepts in the book, which was her first novel.
Joanne C. Hillhouse’s short story Little Prissy Palmer tells of the intersections of class, ideals of success, literacy, the outcast and an unlikely friendship between the main character, a schoolgirl named Prissy, and a pack of dogs.
Marie-Elena John’s debut novel, Unburnable, published in 2006, tells an intriguing story of generational heritage and inheritance, the politics of identity in Creole culture, gender roles and indigenous Dominican culture, Caribbean experiences in modern day America, and a homecoming. In the novel, a once-revered medicine woman and matriarch in Dominica is hanged. Through the story of her life and the journeys of her daughter and granddaughter, powerful lessons about gender roles, colonialism, and multicultural identities are uncovered.
What’s your favorite book by a Caribbean author?
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