Tuesday, 1 September 2015

TALLAWAH BOOKSHELF: New and noteworthy titles from Colin Channer, Earl McKenzie, T.D. Jakes and Edwidge Danticat

MY SISTER’S KEEPER: Books by Haitian-American literary luminary Edwidge Danticat (Breath, Eyes, Memory; Brother, I’m Dying) tend to strike a certain chord thanks to her lyrical and assured voice and a deft exploration of themes spanning family, womanhood and harsh Caribbean realities. We’re certain fans will follow as she makes a foray into young adult fiction with the September 29 release of Untwine, which critics are calling “a haunting and mesmerizing story about sisterhood, love and loss.’ More to the point it weaves the tale of identical twins Giselle and Isabelle Boyer, the tragic circumstances that shake their family to the core, and the strength one must discover in oneself when all seems hopeless. 

THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE: Readers who’ve devoured his previous bestsellers like Mama Made the Difference and Instinct: the Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive know that T.D. Jakes may be a lightning rod in the pulpit but the man can write. His latest offering is Destiny (FaithWorks), also due out this month, in which the internationally acclaimed preacher encourages us to pause and reset our inner compass, regardless of where we are on the journey. “Stepping into your destiny means fulfilling the role you were created to play in life,” Jakes notes. “You thrive and find the great elixir of contentment when you have the courage to pursue your true purpose.” 

TIME AND AGAIN: As TALLAWAH readers are well aware, bestselling Jamerican storyteller Colin Channer (novels like Waiting in Vain and Satisfy My Soul are popular hits) has decided to flip the script and release a poetry anthology this time around. Providential, his debut collection, “skilfully examines the brutality that permeates Jamaica’s history,” according to Publisher’s Weekly. “Channer’s poems rise to present the reader with a panoramic view of place built on old foundations of violence.” According to Booklist, [“Providential is] a dexterous and ambitious collection that delivers enough acoustic acrobatics to keep readers transfixed till the starlings sing out.” 

TALES OF HOME: A sense of place is easily one of the most dominant themes in the work of Earl McKenzie, whose oeuvre slips easily between poetry and prose. A prolific scribe, McKenzie has teamed up with LMH Publishing to release his third story collection, Ernest Palmer’s Dream and Other Stories.” At 156 pages, the author’s latest transports readers across Jamaica’s lush tropical paradise to explore themes such as cultural relativism, homophobia, Rastafarianism and conflicts spanning generations. Typical of McKenzie’s work, collection number three is sure to satisfy and challenge readers.

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