Caribbean Literature: A force to be reckoned with

Caribbean Literature: A force to be reckoned with

arda1By Ardain Isma

If its music, its beautiful beaches, its food and customs have long stolen the hearts of many, its literature is equally a force that cannot be ignored. From Jacques Roumain and Alejo Carpentier to more contemporary writers like Patrick Charmoiseau, Gary Victor and more, anyone who nourishes a passion for exuberant, literary craftsmanship and who reads these writers and their likes would undoubtedly fall in love with Caribbean literature.

Whether it is contemporary or historical fiction, something always strikes the nerves of an authentically engaged reader when weaving through the pages of a good Caribbean-based novel. Recently, at a book signing in Miami, my son asked me a question which then triggered a chain of reactions. He asked me when he will be able to sit down to savor a well-crafted novel like Midnight at Noon, but with a setting describing the lives of new generations of young Haitian-Americans struggling to build their niches in urban America.

I pondered a bit before I carefully chose the words to answer an audience of which half is made up of Haitian-Americans. I told them my next big project will be a Caribbean novel set in the Anglophone USA. And I gave them a sneak preview when I read to them few passages from Appalachia whit Love—a novella based on life experiences of two young Haitian-American university students from the Atlanta area.

I have been thinking about a project like this since then. After I’m done with Lone Bird and the trilogy, this urbanized immigrant novel will have to be my next big undertaking. Part of my upbringing stemmed from the streets of America, and it would be a betrayal not to share with readers my own personal experiences, growing up. Don’t worry folks, I will.

Note: To read more about Ardain’s works, visit CSMS Magazine: Ardain’s Corner

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