tagged with: Trinidad

Recently, we saw the passing of three famous people that I know of – Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and V.S. Naipaul, novelist, Nobel Prize winner for Literature (2001) and my fellow Trinidadian. I seldom write two posts so close together, but when I heard of Mr. Naipaul’s passing, I thought a tribute was fitting. Even more so when I saw that former president Barack Obama is reading his breakthrough, autobiographical novel A House for Mr. Biswas.

Of this novel President Obama said, “With the recent passing of V.S. Naipaul, I reread A House for Mr Biswas, the Nobel Prize winner’s first great novel about growing up in Trinidad and the challenge of post-colonial identity.”

No Trinidad student from my generation could have passed through high school without reading that book and Miguel Street. I even mentioned the latter in my first novel Coming Out of Egypt as one of the books that absorbed the interest of June, one of my main characters.

Naipaul, born of Indian ancestry, migrated from Trinidad to England in the 1950s and was henceforth referred to as a British author. Naipaul attributed his aspirations to become a writer to his father, a journalist, who, Naipaul said had a great reverence for writers and the writing life. Naipaul’s younger brother Shiva was also a writer. A prolific author of fiction and non-fiction, Naipaul has been compared to such literary giants as Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness), and Charles Dickens.

What struck me about V S Naipaul’s writing was his dry sense of humor and his detailed descriptions of objects that would otherwise be insignificant. In A House for Mr. Biswas, which Teju Cole (American writer, photographer and art critic) describes as lively, funny and malicious, here’s how he describes a kitchen safe: They had acquired a kitchen safe of white wood and netting. This too had been awkward to varnish and had been painted. One leg was shorter than the others and had to be propped up; now they knew without thinking that they must never lean on the safe or handle it with violence.

Naipaul himself named this novel as the one closest to him and the one that contains his funniest writing. His writing was not only funny, but he had that ability to tell a story in a way that made characters, setting and the author’s voice come alive in a way that, I think, few authors can. Vidia Naipaul inspired me, and I daresay many others, to become a writer.

I look forward to spending many pleasant hours rereading this epic masterpiece, when I do get it from the library. There are many holds before me, but I don’t mind. It’s worth the wait.

A couple weeks ago, I posted that In the Promised Land, book 3 of the Egypt trilogy was coming soon. Well, now it's here. And until 6/29/2018, release day, you can get it for .99c. I'm excited about this book for 3 reasons:

1. It's gripping. Based on a true story, it features the rise of a Muslim coup in the beautiful island of Trinidad in the 1990s and the havoc it wrought for a short time. I have woven the story of Marva and June Garcia, main characters of the Egypt series, around it to show how this brought about dramatic changes in their lives.

2. It's romantic. Written from a Christian perspective, this story captures the romantic tension between the couples without any graphic love scenes, while allowing the reader to use their imagination.

3. It's conclusive. It draws the curtain on the lives of these two young women in a way that I think will satisfy readers who have followed them on their turbulent journey out of Egypt.

Order your copy today and when you read it, please leave a review on Amazon so that other readers will be guided into making a choice. And if you haven't yet signed up for my newsletter, please do so today.

ebookAJOver the past weeks, I have been giving you little tidbits about my new novel Coming Out Of Egypt, the first book in the Egypt series. Today I’m giving you the opening scene to the novel. Read, enjoy and please leave a comment below.

Thunder rumbled in the distance, and Marva Garcia looked through the window at the tall trees silhouetted against the sky. On a clear day, she could identify most of the trees by name, but with the growing darkness she couldn’t tell which was cedar or mango, breadfruit or samaan or any of the stately trees that flanked the estate. It was as if they had all banded together to disguise themselves against the threatening storm. Only the coconut and gru – gru palms were distinguishable by their long, slender trunks and fringed branches.
Nearer the house, the smaller fruit trees were still visible, but their leaves hung down as if bracing for what was to come. The door of the storage shed where they stored their produce – grapefruit, oranges and bananas – rattled as the wind blew through it. Marva had heard it multiple times, but tonight the sound grated on her nerves. She looked at her younger sister, June, sitting huddled on a stool, head buried in her arms like a sleeping chicken. Occasionally, a sob escaped from beneath the bush of hair. If only she didn’t have to experience any of this.
Marva cast another anxious glance at the heavy rain clouds hanging like wet sheets on a clothesline. Might as well do it now before the storm hit.
She tugged at June’s arms. “Come on. It’s time.”
The girl raised her head, showing eyes reddened and wide like those of a frightened deer. She opened her mouth as if to speak then closed it and stumbled to her feet.
Marva softened her tone. “You don’t have to come if you don’t want to.”
June nodded, indicating she would go.
Marva closed the window. Steeling herself, she opened the bedroom door and crept forward, June following right behind her.
He lay on his stomach on the floor in the same position in which he’d fallen, head at a
rakish angle, arms flung out in front him, one knee slightly bent. June gasped, and Marva glanced over her shoulder. June’s lower lip trembled, her face pale, arms crossed over her bosom. Marva hesitated before turning back to the body on the floor.
Her heart pounded so hard, it sounded in her ears, and for one frightening moment she thought she would faint. But fainting was a luxury she couldn’t afford right now. She leaned against the wall for a second to quiet her heart then with a grimace, bent low and spread her arms. Something swelled in his back pocket. She pulled out the wallet, flung it on the bed, then straightened and looked back at June, peeking from behind her fingers. Lord, I can’t do it.

Now, if you would like to read more, why not click on the image below?