Monday, 3 July 2017

TALLAWAH BOOK CLUB: A Catholic priest reflects + A prolific storyteller returns + A feminist icon recalled

ONE AND ONLY: Una Marson was a woman of myriad talents and many firsts, and that certainly included becoming the first Black female BBC employee. But her journalistic endeavours aside, she was most famous for her literary works, publishing five collections of poetry (the acclaimed Tropic Reveries among them) and a handful of plays. Thanks to Blouse & Skirt Books, two of Marson’s iconic ’50s plays – Pocomania and London Calling – have now been jointly published to be savoured by a whole new generation of Jamaicans, particularly the young. Hailed as one of the most important feminists and dramatists Jamaica has ever produced, Marson (who passed away in May 1965, leaving behind a towering legacy) used her writings to address themes of race, class, gender, prejudice and negritude. 

THE AMEN CORNER: “We always knew he’d do great things,” says Lucille Chambers, referring to her son, Father Donald Chambers, who just released Transformed by the Deep: Reflections of a Caribbean Priest (Whitehall Publishing), a compendium of wit and wisdom, musings and intellectually charged sermons. Chambers, who joined the Catholic priesthood in 1992 (it’s been 25 years) and holds a doctorate in Sacred Theology, has brought his soul-stirring ministry to pulpits across the region and the United States. Now the resident priest at Liguanea’s Sts. Peter & Paul Church, he’s become the first Jamaican priest to publish his homilies – still making mommy proud. Transformed by the Deep is available in hardcover and paperback versions. 

TURNING UP THE HEAT: It’s hard keeping up with K. Sean Harris, arguably contemporary Jamaica’s most prolific pulp-fiction author. No rest for the talented. This season brings Crossroads, the storyteller’s latest potboiler, laden with sex, lies and steamy secrets – the combination that has his loyal readers hooked and keeps them wanting more. Betrayal and redemption work their way into the mix this time around, as the lives of several of his most popular characters (Ayanna, Bumpa) intersect with devastating consequences. The Heart Collector, Queen of the Damned, Blood of Angels and The Stud rank among Harris’ most popular releases gracing bookstores shelves islandwide.

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