Category Archives: Guyanese Books

Guyana’s John Agard becomes first poet to win BookTrust lifetime achievement award

Reading charity pays tribute to ‘incredible words’ of Afro-Guyanese author, who came to Britain in 1977 where he has become a staple of English lessons

‘It’s not just me receiving this award’ … John Agard. Photograph: Rex

Tuesday 09 November 2021  

The Afro-Guyanese writer John Agard has become the first poet to receive the BookTrust lifetime achievement award.

Agard, who was born in Georgetown, Guyana and moved to England in 1977, has been a fixture on the curriculum since 2002 for poems including Half-Caste (“Explain yuself / wha yu mean / when yu say half-caste / yu mean when picasso / mix red an green / is a half-caste canvas?”) and Checking Out Me History. Winning the Queen’s award for poetry in 2012, he is the author of more than 50 books for children and adults.

Book: More Than One Way – by Zandra Strother (Author)

More Than One Way Paperback – Published June 13, 2021

Danforth Williams, a young black boy, saw his future in Guyana, B.W.I; a weekly journey to the Kaietuer Gold Mine with the crew from his village. He rejected it. ‘Little Will’ walked away from the mine into the path of Karl, an American of Dutch descent, who hoped to rehabilitate a defunct sugar cane plantation and create a new life.

Will becomes a driving force at the plantation, but secrets of opium poppy fields and the death of an Amerindian bush girl, drive Karl back to America. Karl’s weak promise to send passage for Will is a lie, forcing Will to get to America on his own. Despite his amusing accent and foreign mannerisms, Will learns the way black men live in a big city. He takes odd jobs until he can buy his first apartments. Thoughts of his first love Enid are replaced by an arrangement with Renee and an entanglement with Arabella.          Continue reading

GUYANA: Forest Spirits or Bush Spirits of Guyana’s Indigenous Peoples – by Rosaliene Bacchus

by Rosaliene Bacchus – BLOG: Three Worlds One Vision

Photo: Silk Cotton Tree – Santa Mission Indigenous Settlement – Guyana

On October 8, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a presidential proclamation declaring October 11th as a national holiday in celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Does this mean that we will no longer remember this day as Columbus Day? Growing up in what was then British Guiana, I was taught to regard the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) as a hero.

During his four voyages to the New World, he explored a vast area of the Caribbean Region that he called the West Indies. The gentle and kindhearted indigenous Arawak peoples who first welcomed Columbus and his crew knew not the misery that this encounter would later unleash upon their world.

Continue reading

BOOK: The NATION BUILDERS – by Tony Phillips (Author) 

A DOME MURAL IN GUYANA – An Absorbing story of Creativity, Innovation and Resilience

This is about the painting on the ceiling of Barclays Bank on Water Street. Georgetown. Guyana

WHY THIS STORY HAD TO BE TOLD

The successful completion of the mural “THE BUILDERS” is a story of the generosity and willing contributions of several individuals from both local and international organisations spread across three continents, all of who collaborated to ensure the success of a project born out of a simple idea/request from an architect looking to enliven the interior of this financial institution.

The book retraces for the first time, the unexpected series of events and situations which occurred at every stage of its development and covers the two years of planning and execution that Tony Phillips and Stanley Greaves set out on, until its completion on 8 June 1974.      Continue reading

BOOK: The Writer’s Life: Character Development for ‘The Twisted Circle’ – by Rosaliene Bacchus

Aerial View of Ogle Airstrip before Upgrade to an International Airport in 2009 – East Coast Demerara – Guyana

While The Twisted Circle is a work of fiction, it has been inspired by real events that occurred during my final year in a Catholic convent in my native land of Guyana. This presented a challenge when creating unique characters who did not mirror the true-life individuals. To distance myself from the protagonist, Sister Barbara Lovell, I made her a dougla—a person of African and East Indian ancestry, the country’s two major racial and ethnic populations. With a family background much different from mine, her journey led to its own resolution for the character.

 READ MORE OF THIS POST

BOOK: Duplicity and Complicity in a Whitewashed Church – By Rosaliene Bacchus

Rosaliene Bacchus – August 24, 2021– PRESS RELEASE — NEW NOVEL — THE TWISTED CIRCLE

Front Cover The Twisted Circle: A Novel by Rosaliene Bacchus (USA, 2021)

LOS ANGELESAug. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Aggrieved, angered, and ashamed by the revelations in the documentary film, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, author Rosaliene Bacchus breaks her silence as a former Catholic nun in her novel, The Twisted Circle, and adds her voice for victims of sexual abuse by predatory priests in the patriarchal Catholic Church.

Drawing on her seven-year experience of the religious life during the 1970s in her native land, Guyana, Bacchus explores the abuse of power by members of the clergy. The religious women ensnared in the author’s twisted circle of deceit, are not without guilt. Taught to hate the sin but forgive the sinner, they share silent complicity with the abusers.      Continue reading

SWEET DRINK: THE LEMONADE PEOPLE and other Community-based bottlers – By Vibert Cambridge

Stabroek News – By August 1, 2021

One is not certain about the first flavors of “sweet drink” to be bottled in British Guiana.  There is high probability that among the first was lemonade.  According to recipes available from the late 19th century, lemonade may have been the dominant early flavor as the syrup could be concocted locally.

According to Hamid Mohamed of the Verdun Soda Water Factory, “the lemonade formula was straight forward—lemon oil extract, white sugar, carbonated water, citric acid, and sodium benzoate.”  This may explain the proliferation of lemonade bottlers in British Guiana from the early 20th century until their virtual extinction during the 1970s.  Collectively, they are referred to as the “Lemonade People.”    Continue reading

GUYANA: Sweet Drink: A Complex Story – Commentary by Vibert Cambridge

Editor’s note: This is the first entry in a series, “Sweet Drink: A Preliminary Exploration of the Social History of Nonalcoholic Carbonated Beverages in Guyana (1870–2020),” based on Professor Vibert Cambridge’s research. 

This is a preliminary history of nonalcoholic carbonated beverages in Guyana over the 150-year period 1870–2020.

It is preliminary because there is still much work to done. It is hoped that this series will stimulate feedback to help to close the gaps in this story about an important aspect of Guyanese life: food and nutrition. We start with a composite snapshot of Guyana’s “sweet drink” market in June 2021.      Continue reading

BOOKS: Canada-based Guyanese children’s book now available in Guyana

Yolanda Marshall
Yolanda Marshall

The children’s book My Soca Birthday Party by Canada-based Guyanese Yolanda Marshall is available for sale at Jars Zero Waste Store and one will be donated to the National Library.

My Soca Birthday Party, which was published last year, by prominent children book publishers, Chalkboard, was among 16 children’s books that were deemed Best Canadian Picture Books of 2020.

The book is a blend of African and Caribbean culture and its heroine Anne, celebrates her birthday party with Soca music played on steel pans and West Africa’s jollof rice.        Continue reading

PROFILE: Extraordinary People – Godfrey Chin 1938-2012 – By Ian McDonald 

  By       

In one conversation with Godfrey, amidst the multitude of evocations that continually cascaded out of his extraordinary memory, he told me about bird-whistling competitions and donkey-cart racing in Guyana long ago and described to me the hundred and one manifestations of that condition of bewitched infatuation in a man or a woman called typee.

Godfrey Chin

I urged him to do extended Nostalgias on all these subjects and he promised he would get around to it. He never did. It is immeasurable how much the nation lost in the passing too soon of this absolutely unique chronicler of Guyana’s rich social history. He left behind a thousand golden threads unwoven into the tapestries which were already making him celebrated.        Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: