Tuesday 27 October, 2020

Shakirah Bourne: 6 Must-read books by Caribbean authors

(FILE) A stack of books.

(FILE) A stack of books.

We all need a good escape once in a while, especially during lockdown or post-COVID-19 lockdown.

With so much going on in the world it may be difficult to find a little bit of peace of mind every now and then, so why not turn the pages of a good book?

Shakirah Bourne is a Barbadian author and filmmaker with numerous works under her belt, such as the films Payday and Two Smart, as well as written works like the short story collection In Time With Need and her latest book My Fishy Stepmom. 


For her reading is fundamental now and always.

"Honestly, reading is a vital part of my life. It helps me whether I want to be informed, entertained, or to escape, so there's a book to fit every need." - Shakirah Bourne said. 

Loop News caught up with Shakirah who shared some of her top recommendations for Caribbean novels which will provide readers with an escape from this period of organised chaos. 


Here are Shakirah's picks:

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud (Trinidad)


An electrifying novel about love in its messiest forms, a complicated marriage, an unconventional family, and the shocking secrets that unite them all from an award-winning Trinidadian author.

Black Rain Falling by Jacob Ross (Grenada)


Delving into issues of family, class, and loyalty, Black Rain Falling is a stunning crime novel that asks how far one should go to protect those they love.


Unraveling by Karen Lord (Barbados)


In this standalone fantasy novel, the dark truth behind a string of unusual murders leads to an otherworldly exploration of spirits, myth, and memory, steeped in Caribbean storytelling.

Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta (Jamaica)


A rich and unforgettable portrait of growing up between worlds, Frying Plantain shows how, in one charged moment, friendship and love can turn to enmity and hate, well-meaning protection can become control, and teasing play can turn to something much darker.

The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey (Trinidad)


April 1976: St Constance, a tiny Caribbean village on the island of Black Conch, at the start of the rainy season. A fisherman sings to himself in his pirogue, waiting for a catch—but attracts a sea-dweller he doesn’t expect. 

Aycayia, a beautiful young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid, has been swimming the Caribbean Sea for centuries, and she is entranced by this man David and his song.

How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthur (Jamaica)


Tenderness and cruelty, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and regret - Alexia Arthurs navigates these tensions to extraordinary effect in her debut collection about Jamaican immigrants and their families back home. Sweeping from close-knit island communities to the streets of New York City and midwestern university towns, these eleven stories form a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life.


Share with us the book recommendations that have been helping you all get through it all.

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