The Bridge of Beyond by Simone Schwarz-Bart was my introduction to this author and I was amazed I hadn't read her before.
FROM AMAZON - "This aptly titled novel takes the reader to many "beyonds." Through the life of Telumee Lougandor we meet a proud line of women who live in small villages in Guadeloupe: women whose lives are beyond Africa, beyond the slavery that in theory has been abolished, and beyond the physical restrictions of their difficult existence which is eased only by their faith in the spirit world. In the day-to-day lives of Telumee and her grandmother Toussine - washing clothes at the river, tending to a garden, working as a house-servant, and interacting with others in the villages - Simone Schwartz-Bart shows lives linked by common suffering. Ma Cia, a witch "closer to the dead than the living," soundly advises young Telumee: "Be a fine little Negress, a real drum with two sides. Let life bang and thump, but keep the underside always intact." While doing their "women's work" - work they must do to survive - the Lougandor women not only endure, they grow. They love, lose at love, and allow themselves to love again. They know the meaning of oppression - sometimes by other villagers or the men in their lives and always by the whites. The Bridge Of Beyond is a view of unending hardships made bearable by the love and wisdom of elders - especially grandmother Toussine - and the healing power of the spirit world. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Holly Smith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title."
Oh Gad is the newest novel from Antiguan, Joanne Hillhouse, one of the Caribbean's younger writers and it's receiving great reviews.
FROM AMAZON - "A stirring novel about a woman facing cross-cultural odds and redefining everything she understands about her family, herself, and the country she’s never really been able to call home. Nikki Baltimore was born in Antigua but grew up with her dad in the United States. With each year, she’s grown further apart from her mother and maternal siblings, potters in rural Antigua.
With the publication of Waiting in Vain in 2003, Jamaican-born, Colin Channer, joined the ranks of black men writing romance or, if you prefer, romantic women's fiction.
FROM AMAZON - "Representing a figure all too rare in contemporary romance, African American A.J. "Fire" Heath, a sensitive, sophisticated man with a good career, is a major asset to this appealing first novel by short-story writer Channer. Fire's combination of good looks, kindness and brains, and his desire to find the right woman "in the fullness of time," will make him nearly irresistible to readers of commercial fiction. A painter and novelist who has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Fire shuttles between his native Jamaica, London and New York. In a chance encounter on a Brooklyn street, Fire meets Sylvia, another transplanted Jamaican, who is disappointed with her magazine-editing job and her art-dealer lover. Fire and Sylvia pursue and retreat from each other in convincingly soul-searching scenarios while Channer vividly describes urban New York, industrial Brixton and rural Jamaica. Channer has a fine ear for Jamaican patois (and for when it bubbles up in otherwise American-accented conversations). Also to his credit, Channer largely resists the trendy name-dropping and product placements so common in this genre. Subplots of intrigue in the African American art world add substance without detracting from the pace. As readers in the know will recognize, this tale of continent-hopping romance takes its title from a Bob Marley song. Author tour. Publisher's Weekly. Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.