Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Caribbean Writers cont'd....

The Caribbean has a strong and rich literary tradition that is not as well known as, perhaps, it should be so every now and then, here at Eugenia Writes! I highlight some of the region's authors and their works.

Phyllis Byam Shand Allfrey (24 October 1915 – January 1986) was a West Indian writer, socialist activist, newspaper editor and politician of the island of Dominica in the Caribbean.
She is best known for her first novel, The Orchid House (1953), based on her own early life, which in 1991 was turned into a Channel 4 television miniseries in the United Kingdom.  From Wikipedia.

From Amazon - First published in 1954, The Orchid House, Phyllis Shand Allfrey's only published novel, is a classic of Caribbean literature. In this markedly autobiographical story of the three daughters of a once-powerful but now impoverished white family, Allfrey interweaves her family's history with the history of her home island of Dominica in the twentieth century. The novel is written in a sensuous style and the story remarkably told through the eyes of Lally, the black nurse of the three sisters. Often praised for the clearsightedness of its analysis of the Dominican historical process, The Orchid House stands at a crucial intersection of West Indian politics. It was during this period that the colonized took over from the colonizer the direction of local governments. Allfrey, a Fabian socialist and founder of Dominica's first political party, articulates in this novel the central tenet of a political philosophy that guided a lifetime of grassroots activism: that profound changes had to take place in the power structures of Caribbean societies to bring social justice to its peoples, and that those who persevered in seeking to revive the past were doomed. This edition makes this classic novel available in paperback for the first time in years.


Caryl Phillips (born 13 March 1958) is a Kittian-British novelist, playwright and essayist. Best known for his novels (for which he has won multiple awards), Phillips is often described as a Black Atlantic writer, since much of his fictional output is defined by its interest in, and searching exploration of, the experiences of peoples of the African diaspora in England, the Caribbean and the United States.As well as writing, Phillips has worked as an academic at numerous institutions including Amherst College, Barnard College and, most recently, Yale University

FROM AMAZON - This novel confirms Phillips ( Higher Ground, LJ 8/89) as a writer to be reckoned with, someone able to create simple but powerful images that linger in the mind. Leila is a young West Indian woman seeking something more than the "stern predictability" of island existence. She emigrates to England in an attempt to revive a failing marriage and to provide a better life for her baby, but her hopes prove unrealistic, her marriage continues to disintegrate, and as winter sets in she finds herself "growing paler day by day. But she was more coloured than ever before, and not shame exactly, but feelings of inadequacy prevented her from looking in the mirror." What the reader sees in the mirror is a woman, a people, stripped by their colonial experience of their sense of self. Winner of England's Malcolm X Award, this book may seem a bit alien to the mainstream American audience but nonetheless would be a worthwhile purchase for academic and metropolitan libraries.

Friday, 22 February 2013

The Friday 56 - 22nd February, 2013

Brought to you by Freda's Voice.


"My one-word answers seemed to disconcert her and she stared at the floor.  Not knowing her, I assumed she expected gratitude for her intervention, and it was only later that I discovered how much she relied on other people to make conversation."

Monday, 18 February 2013

Black History Month Blog Giveaway Hop

 photo Screenshot2013-01-24at90219AM_zpsa28aefdd.png 

 When does the giveaway start?
February 20th - 27th

What is the Purpose of this giveaway hop?
To give black authors, books and those who support them time in the spotlight.

Who can join in this?
This hop is open to any blogger who wants to participate in the giveaway hop. If the site is adult rated, please indicate it in your linky name. (ex. blog name *adult*)

Why join this hop? 
One to raise awareness of black authors and black topics in books. Two, to promote diversity in mainstream literature. Three, because we are giving a prize to one lucky blogger.

Say what!  Blogger Prize?!
$10 Amazon gift card or a $10 book from The Book Depository will go to one lucky blogger.  When you link your blog that will be your number for the giveaway.  Blogger Winner will be picked by

So what are the Rules? 
Please read all the giveaway rules
1. Before the giveaway starts, please post about the giveaway.  Create a post about the giveaway to encourage more people to sign up. You are more than welcome to cut and copy this post.
Your giveaway must have no more than two required entries for your readers. Please make it easy.
2. The prize has to be a book by a black author, or about black characters, or regarding black history. Gift cards are welcomed as well. No EXCEPTIONS!
3. Please link your blog to the Linky at Reflection of a Bookacholic or My Little Pocketbooks site.
4. Please include the blog giveaway image in your post as well as in your side bar.
Linkys that do not meet these requirements will be removed on the second day of the hop.

What is a black book?
Any of the following count  
1. Written by a black author (from any country)
2. Main character is black (from any country)
3. More than one supporting character is black (and from any country)

Do I have to be black to participate?
No not at all! Everyone is welcomed to join us.
My Giveaways:

One lucky winner will receive -

1.)  A copy of Dido's Prize
2.)  And a hardcover copy of On Black Sisters Street by Chika Unigwe

To Win - all you have to do is leave a comment below and either follow this blog or follow me on Twitter @eugeniaoneal

Good luck!  And do check back in during the Blog Hop so you can visit the other participating blogs!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Orange You Glad It's Friday - St. Kitts

You just gotta love a meme based on the colour orange!

Conversation by a Door, Basseterre, St. Kitts

Orange You Glad It's Friday Rules
It's simple - take photos of anything orange and join!
Visit the Hood Photo Blog to see more great pix!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A Service of Remembrance for those who died on the Middle Passage

Nobody knows exactly how many African men, women and children died on the Middle Passage - the Transatlantic Crossing between Africa and the European colonies in the New World - but estimates range from 3 to 6 million.  Cramped below deck in tight, smelly and dark conditions, shackled and allowed only a poor diet and little fresh air and exercise many succumbed to fevers and to diseases like smallpox and yaws.  On one voyage by the ship Hannibal, for example, 320 Africans died out of a total of 700.
This clip from the movie Amistad gives an idea of what it was like.


Every year in the Virgin Islands, Gil Trott organizes a ceremony to remember those who died and whose bones are strewn beneath the ocean. These are some of the pictures I took during the 3rd February ceremony on Wickham's Cay, Road Town.

Gil Trott
Marie Paul dances the Bamboula

The drummers
The wreath is thrown into the sea

Monday, 11 February 2013

Dreaming of France

Today I'm joining a new-to-me meme dedicated to France and brought to you by An Accidental Blog.

One of the places I always said I had to get to in France (well, I'd like to get to every square inch!) was the Loire Valley and I finally made it.  Just for a one-day tour of three castles, though.  The tour began at an ungodly hour and ended quite late.  I was thoroughly exhausted at the end but I loved every minute of it.  These are pix of two of the castles - I can't seem to find my shots of the smallest and prettiest.



Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Sepia Saturday - Snow!

To join Sepia Saturday, you don't need to ask, you don't need to apply. Just post an old photograph and add a few words of explanation. Once you have your post up, add a link to that specific post to the weekly Linky List on the Sepia Saturday Blog.  Oh, and 'Old" is what you want it to be.

I didn't think I'd have any shots of snow to share but then my aunt reminded me of a photo of her sister, Harriet, which she'd given me a couple years ago.

Snow and Smiles
Aunt Harriet (on the left) knew from the time she was a young girl that she wanted to go live in New York and she moved there in the 1940s.  She died of cancer before I was born so I never got to know her but she looks like she would have been a fun aunt.

I'm thinking this picture was taken during her first winter because she sure looks gleeful!  West Indians love the novelty of snow.  I don't think we ever get tired of it.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Edward Baugh - Caribbean poet

 The Warner-Woman

The morning shimmers in its bowl of blue crystal.
Me, underneath my mother's bed.
I delight in dust and bunnies.
Connoisseur of comics and the coolness of floorboards,
I prolong my life's long morning.

But the blue sky broke.  The warner-woman,
bell-mouthed and biblical
she trumpeted out of the hills,
prophet of doom, prophet of God,
breeze-blow and earthquake,
tidal wave and flood.

I crouched. I cowered.  I remembered Port Royal.
I could see the waters of East Harbour rise.
I saw them heave Caneside bridge.  Dear God,
don't make me die, not now, not yet...

Edward Baugh

Edward Baugh

FROM WIKIPEDIA - Edward Alston Cecil Baugh (born 10 January 1936) is a Jamaican poet and scholar.  He was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica, and began writing poetry at Titchfield High School. He won a scholarship to study English literature at the University College of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, and later did his postgraduate studies at Queen's University in Ontario and the University of Manchester, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1964. He taught at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies from 1965 to 1967, then at the university's Mona campus from 1968 to 2001, eventually being appointed professor of English in 1978 and public orator in 1985.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Sepia Saturday - Bicycles!

To join Sepia Saturday, you don't need to ask, you don't need to apply. Just post an old photograph and add a few words of explanation. Once you have your post up, add a link to that specific post to the weekly Linky List on the Sepia Saturday Blog.  Oh, and 'Old" is what you want it to be.

This is a picture of a lady by the name of Angelica Scatliffe who was a great friend of my Aunt Tula's.  Apparently, she loved whizzing about our small town on that bike.

Friday, 1 February 2013

The Friday 56

Brought to you by Freda's Voice.

"She stooped down, putting her hands on her bare knees and turned her head to see the thin mattress and sheer olive blanket.

"'You sleep on the floor under a table?'" From The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley

Rules for The Friday 56:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.