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5 books to read over Christmas

This selection is set in the Caribbean with references to Jamaica, Trinidad, St Lucia and Haiti.

  1. Pirate Latitudes – Michael Crichton

An action-packed novel set in the 17th century.  The story is about a fictional privateer Captain Charles Hunter who having been hired by Jamaica’s Governor Sir James Almont plots to raid a Spanish galleon for its treasure and….

  1. Lawrence Scott – Night Calypso

The year is 1938, war in Europe is looming, and Trinidad itself has problems. Leprosy is rife and children are left as orphans.  Theo, one such orphan in need of love and attention, is sent to live with the island’s doctor.  The doctor has problems as he tries to teach people about this dreadful disease in a country where discord is everywhere…

  1. Derek Walcott – White Egret

From one of the important Caribbean poets this collection of poems covers themes like the Caribbean’s colonial legacy, the natural world and getting older. It’s a celebration of the life and the language of the West Indies.

  1. Breath, Eyes, Memory – Edwidge Danticat

This novel deals with issues around racial, linguistic and gender identity in a story about a “damaged” mother caused by being raped and how the experience affects her daughter. It draws attention to a Haitian tradition, the practice known as testing, and a coping strategy known as “doubling”.

  1. A Brighter Sun – Samuel Selvon

Trinidad during the Second World War is the backdrop to a story about a 16-year old Indian boy who in an arranged marriage sets up home but has to face the challenges of adulthood while at the same time deal with racism in a neighbourhood of different ethnicities and the events of a war that is far away from Trinidad, his island home.

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