Title: Caribbean review of books
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094097/00002
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean review of books
Alternate Title: CRB
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of the West Indies Publishers' Association
University of the West Indies Publishers' Association
Publisher: UWIPA
Place of Publication: Mona Kingston Jamaica
Mona, Kingston, Jamaica
Publication Date: November 1991
Copyright Date: 1991
Frequency: quarterly
Subject: Caribbean literature -- Book reviews -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Imprints -- Book reviews -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Jamaica
Dates or Sequential Designation: No. 1 (Aug. 1991)-
Dates or Sequential Designation: Ceased in 1994?
General Note: Title from caption.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: No. 10 (Nov. 1993).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094097
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 25144524
lccn - 92658675
issn - 1018-2926

Full Text

Ntimber 2, November 1991
"Thecomplete source for Caribbean book news"

ISSN 1018-2926

The Muslimeen Grab for Power,
Selwyn Ryan, (Port of Spain: In-
print Publications, 1991, 976-
608-031-3, US$20.00 pbk,
US$26.00 hbk, 345 p.

by Ralph Premdas
On 27 July 1990, the
duly elected govern-
ment of Trinidad and
Tobago came close to
becoming the casualty of an in-
surrection thereby joining the
long list of Third World countries
which have succumbed to illegal
seizures of power. Indeed, not
only did the rebel Jamaat-al-
Muslimeen hijack the Parlia-
ment and kidnap the Prime
Minister and several of his
Cabinet members, but it actually
succeeded for a few days in dis-
lodging the ruling regime of
A.N.R. Robinson. The Trinidad
and Tobago armed forces almost
single-handedly came to the res-
cue and, had they chosen to,
could have retained power and
Instituted a military regime. In
effect, the Robinson administra-
Z tion was temporarily removed
So from government for six days
S and publicly humiliated. In the
- wake of the violence that at-
tended the uprising, 31 persons

were killed and 693 v
Port of Spain, the cap
gutted by fire and loo
damages estimated a
IT$300 million. The
severely traumatised
tion and laid bare the
nerability of small isl
to covert attempts at
What added to the
the event was the fac
insurrection was mo
Islamic sectarian groin

agenda to impose a f
talist Muslim confess
government on the cc
multi-cultural and m

rounded. religious population, most of
ital, was whom are Christians and Hin-
ters left dus. Muslims constitute only
t about about 6 per cent of the popula-
event tion. The Muslimeen-al-Jamaat
the popula- itself consisted of a small com-
fragile vul- munity of only about 3-400
and states members.
destabilisa- The metaphor that probably
best captures the catastrophic
intrigue of event of 27 July was portrayed
t that the by a badly beaten, hand-bound
mted by an Prime Minister sitting on his
up with an legs with a Muslimeen member
pushing the barrel of a Joaded
gun into his mouth and down
his throat. The Muslimeen,
claiming a warrant from Allah to
liberate Trinidad, were by an
odd theology of cruelty (vindic-
tive and mindless) unasked in
their attempt to force down the
throats of all citizens of Trinidad
and Tobago an illegal regime
and an alien way of life. Selwyn
Ryan in his book The Muslrneen
Grab for Power reported in a
post-insurrection survey that
some 75 per cent of the popula-
tion said that it was wrong for
the Muslimeen to attempt to
overthrow the government by
S force (16 per cent felt that a
undamen- term of 5 years or less was ap-
ional propriate). This is all the more
untis ronic since the Muslimeen them-
iulti- selves said that a critical reason
continued on page 19

IBmowieDwj oDff LB3D

A short while ago Carib-
bean Review of Books
was still in the future,
but now, in November
1991, CRB has a short history.
When you have a history, how-
ever short it may be, you must
look back on it with gratitude
and a willingness to learn, and
from that history learn how to
manage the present in order to
reach a better future. This is
what I wish to do in introducing
the second issue of CRB.
From the time CRB was an-
nounced there were many who
shared with us the exciting work
of bringing the new journal to
birth: many who shared our en-
thusiasm and gave us encourage-
ment before and after CRB. To
these friends, and to the small
UWIPA group who worked hard
for CRB 1 and 2 we are very
grateful. We are also grateful to
those who responded positively
to our requests to help us with
contributions, to distribute CRB
and to make it known among a
wider circle of Caribbean book
people. We consider all these


Unlikely Casualties in the Fight
for Democracy in Haiti------------3
From Classroom Teaching to
Writing Textbooks ---------- -4
Focus on Caribbean Journals -
Social and Economic Studies-------6
Books on the Dutch Caribbean
in 1990----------------------- 10
Interview with Elean Thomas----- 17

The Muslimeen Grab for Power ---1
Sonny Jim of Sandy Point -------------7
Omeros --------------------------- 8
The Jamaican Historical Review -- 13
Jamaica Journal Index -------14
Archaeology & History of
Barbados ---------------------15
The Last Room------------------- 16
New Books -------------------- 20

No. 2, November 1991

people to be part of the CRB
Our collective effort in produc-
ing CRB will, as always, be
directed towards making the fu-
ture for Caribbean books a bet-
ter one. This issue contains

contributions that go beyond the
English-speaking Caribbean,
and there are many other areas
into which we must direct our
focus to achieve our aims.
When we look back on the ex-
perience of CRB 1 and 2 we see
our inability to achieve these
aims on our own. Whatever suc-
cess we have had so far is due to
the support we received from the
wider community of Caribbean
Book people. Many publishers
have begun to send us news and
review copies of their books.
There is an expanding circle of
willing reviewers and con-
tributors. We appreciate very

much the support of the publish-
ing community, both the estab-
lished and strong publishing
houses and the smaller units,
who keep in touch with CRB and
help us with information, news
and advertising. In doing so they
help themselves and other poten-
tial readers. We invite others to
contact CRB and to make use of
its pages. Of the first issue of
CRB over 1300 copies are now in
circulation, and we plan to ex-
pand this spread. To achieve a
wider circulation and a richer
content we need all the help we
can get from authors, editors,
publishers, booksellers,
librarians and readers who have
a common interest in Caribbean
As I did in our first issue,
once again, on behalf of the CRB
team, I invite you to join hands
with us and to make the best
use of our infant journal for our
common good as makers, con-
veyors and users of Caribbean

-19 75i5j

P ress

age of
what Fi
was, at the
time of writ-
ing, the last-
but-one coup
or coup at-
tempt in
Haiti, Roger Lafontant's brief
pretence to the presidency in
January 1991, reported among
other matters the loss of life and
the destruction by fire of the Old
Cathedral, but, understandably
perhaps, a damaging blow to the
book world in Haiti went un-
remarked upon. During civil dis-
turbances protesting Lafontant's
seizure of power the offices and
printing plant of Les Editions
Fardin, probably the second
largest of Haiti's publishing
houses, were looted and burned,
forcing the company out of busi-
Fardin was active in a num-
ber of areas in the Haitian print-
ing and publishing industry. Its
absence from the scene as job
printers will perhaps not have
any serious repercussions, for
there would seem to be no lack
of printers to whom a Haitian
author who is prepared to act as
his own publisher can turn. But
several of the Haitian codes and
other works of interest to the
legal profession were published
by Fardin, and the unavailability
of new copies for an indeter-
minate period will be a serious
inconvenience, to put it no
higher. And its weekly news-
magazine Le petit samedi soir, a
veteran of more than 800 issues
with a reputation extending far
beyond Haiti, will most certainly
be missed.
Perhaps its most important
contribution to the Haitian book
scene, however, was its
programme of reprinting classic
Haitian literary and historical
texts, often on virtual newsprint,

to be sold at an appropriate
price to the book-hungry Haitian
public. It may be argued that in
recent years Editions Henri Des-
champs, the "quality" Haitian
publishing house, has increas-
ingly been taking on this role,
and that the loss will therefore
not be keenly felt. Deschamps
has, for instance, recently
republished the writings of Fer-
nand Hibbert [Esquises d'hler,
tableaux d'aujourd' hut Port-au-
Prince, Editions Henri Des-
champs, 1988, 7 vols], whose
novels had been reprinted by
Fardin in the 1970s; and has
been able to bring to a recent
conclusion the first ever com-
plete edition of Thomas Madiou's
19th century Histoire d'Haiti
(Fardin had managed only the
first two volumes, in the early
1980s) [Editions Henri Des-
champs, 1987-1991, 8 vols]. And
all of this in editions which are
physically of a far higher quality
than Fardin's. But this dif-
ference in quality is reflected in
the price, which determines the
market in which the books can
be sold, and it is clear that the
Deschamps editions are aimed
at a very different market from
Fardin's. For this reason if for no
other, the absence of this. aspect
of Fardin's activities leaves a
void to be filled.
The selection of Les Editions
Fardin by the populace as a
suitable object on which to vent
its anger was allegedly politically
motivated, and this would seem
to be confirmed by the fact that
none of the adjacent buildings in
Fontamara, which is in any case

a good two
or three
away from
the main
scenes of un-
rest in down-
Prince, ap-
pear to have
been damaged. The burning of
the Old Cathedral can also easily
be viewed as a political act,
given the lack of endorsement
given to Father Aristide by the or-
thodox Catholic Church. And it
too was an event which had its
literary implications, for what
had been intended to be a his-
tory to date of the "Ancienne
Cathedrale", that squat and
rather unprepossessing building
adjacent to the later white, twin-
towered cathedral which
dominates the squares at the top
of the rue Bonne Foi, had to be
revised to record its sad end
before being issued by Des-
champs earlier this year
[L'ancienne cathedrale de Port-au-
Prince: perspectives d'une vestige
de carrefours. By Rachel
Beauvoir-Dominique. Editions
Henri Deschamps, 1991. 2111
pp. illus].
But one is left to wonder what
could have prompted the burn-
ing of the headquarters of the
Societe Haitienne d'Histoire et
Geographie, housing its library
and records, together with, as ill
luck would have it, virtually the
entire unsold stock of the recent-
ly printed second edition of La
Revolution de Saint-Domingue
(1789-1804) [by Jean-Jaques-
Dessalines Ambrolse and Mario
Rameau. 2eme ed. Societq
Haitienne d'Histoire et de
Geographie, 1990. 396 pp. ill.];
and to be thankful that the
petrol bombs which were repor-
tedly hurled at the Archives Na-
tionales did not take hold.

Caritean R review of Books Caribbean Review of Books Cabe Review of Book


by Molly White
' Hire professionalwriters
and get a professional
job," was the comment
made by a principal when
I proposed the 'Mike Morrissey
method' to produce a social
studies textbook for use in
Bermuda's schools.
Why are we both as small is-
lands and as professional people
reluctant to acknowledge our
achievements? Why do we often
find fault and emphasize weak-
nesses rather than our
strengths? Who are the so-called
professional writers of textbooks
other than former teachers who
now write full time, often be-
tween periods of teaching, to
keep their skills honed and cur-
One of the benefits of using
classroom practitioners as
authors of social studies
textbooks for small Caribbean
countries is that the resultant
text is more likely to be relevant
to their students. The teachers
teach social studies according to
their agreed curriculum outlines
and know exactly what material
they would like to have in the
form of a textbook to aid them.
They also know how they have
approached particular objectives
in the curriculum in the past
without the benefit of textbooks
and how their presentation was
received by their students. It is
sound teaching practice to make
adjustments and refinements to
lesson plans in the light of the
experience of delivering the in-
struction to a particular group
of students. Using experience
teachers as authors taps into

this fund of experience as well
as the knowledge base of the
There is not always time or
opportunity for teachers to
thoroughly research their
material before teaching the les-
son with a particular objective.
Sometimes the teacher is aware
of this from the outset and at
other times it is the questioning
of a perceptive student that
leads to realization. Without a
textbook to rely on for informa-
tion the teacher must use other
resources such as archives,
government reports and his-
tories of the area. How do
teachers know where to look? It
is probable that most of us grew
up with world history and geog-
raphy, the study of England or
the U.S.A., but what of our own
countries? With varying levels of
interest and expertise, our
knowledge is often scrappy at
best. Having teachers write their
own textbooks means that the
authors themselves research the
topics for their chapters.

and information from fel-
low teachers and a ripple
effect is thereby created.
More often than not at least one
person on the staff has
knowledge in detail about a par-
ticular topic and of the places to
get further information. That in-
dividual becomes a resource per-
son for local knowledge because
he knows whom to ask in the ref-
erence library, who will be help-
ful in the government offices,
which history book is likely to be
useful, how to go about the
process of accessing information
- all the know-how in fact, that

makes the task seem so much
less daunting to a teacher who
is probably juggling with a full
time job, a family and other out-
side interests.
Not only individual authors
benefit from the writing ex-
perience, but their fellow
teachers also gain information
and motivation to improve their
own instructional practices. The
authors themselves, in meeting
the challenges of researching
their topic, in expressing their
information in writing the
textbook, in deciding how to il-
lustrate the material and in pur-
suit of all the other tasks
involved in producing a book,
grow intellectually and profes-
sionally. So often, having com-
pleted their formal training,
teachers have little opportunity
on the job itself for further
development of their thinking
skills. Teaching being a tradi-
tionally conservative profession,
many teachers are reluctant to
abandon tried and trusted ways
in favour of new experiences. Ini-
tially, writing a textbook does
not sound threatening. After all,
we all use textbooks! However, it
is often not until the author has
made the commitment that the
extent and challenge of the task
becomes apparent.
The sharing of informa-
tion and of ways of doing
things amongst the
group of authors, usual-
ly drawn from many different
schools across the country, is of
benefit. Learning to value the
input from teachers outside
one's usual coterie of colleagues
is an additional advantage.
Many of the small island

No. 2, November 1991

-countries have diverse racial, A significant benefit of using
religious and social factors teachers as authors is the pres-
present in their communities, tige and improved self-esteem of
Projects which override those fac- the participants. Such benefits
tors, such as writing a social accrue not only for the authors,
studies textbook for the for the whole country is en-
country's schools, are almost al- hanced by the production of a
ways beneficial, particularly for worthwhile textbook for use in
the participating teachers who its schools. It may be argued
actively experience the sense of that this is the purpose for
unity created by working which Governments are elected
together on such a task. There is to educate the populace, to
a sense of fulfillment at the end understand and protect the
when all teachers, in all schools, land, to celebrate its history and
feel that they can use the text culture and to further economic
meaningfully in their class- progress. The production of a so-
rooms. In addition, the students cial studies textbook furthers all
recognize the unity that comes these ends.
from sharing a social studies Community involvement can
textbook for their country. be encouraged in practical ways.
Having experienced the chal- The classroom practitioners per-
lenge of producing a textbook, form the actual writing of the
are conse-
quently more
attuned to
what con-
tributes to a
These include
the features to
look for not
only in the
traditional flip
through test
when new
textbooks are
being chosen,
but also Teacher, teach by Mallica 'Kapo' Reynolds

through more detailed study of
the content to evaluate which of
the offerings will most fully meet
the needs of all the country's
teachers. Greater awareness on
the part of the individual
author/teacher again spills over
to other teachers, as perceptive
comments from the authors sen-
sitize others to a more detailed
examination of textbooks and a
more critical appreciation of the
strengths and weaknesses when
applied to the situation in their
own countries.

text whilst ministries, busi-
nesses, community groups and
interested or knowledgeable
citizens can be involved in the
review of the textbook. The
benefit from this process lies not
only in pride of participation,
but also in the essence of owner-
ship of the textbook once it is
published. The bringing together
of disparate persons within the
communities to share the work
of reviewing, even though the
persons may never meet as a
group, is a further benefit. Any

No. 2, November 1991
project in which all can join in
working towards the common
good is of benefit.
The published textbook itself
will enhance the feelings of pride
of ownership and sense of
achievement. No longer will the
country have to rely solely on
overseas publications. The small
country will have demonstrated
its ability to meet its own needs.
What has been done once can be
done again. The possibilities are
endless. What other textbooks
could and should be produced
specially for the country? How
would the increased relevance of
the textbooks improve student
Research tells us that
relevance is a vital factor in the
learning process. The self-es-
teem of
the stu-
dents and
families is
also en-
hanced by

written in
a sensi-
ful way
i their
Even if
they disagree with the mode of
presentation or think more
pages should have been devoted
to a particular aspect, dear to
their own interests, nevertheless
a sense of achievement, is
present. A beginning has been
made, a textbook for the
country's schools has been
produced upon which improve-
ments are a logical next step.
The use of teachers to
produce social studies textbooks
for small island countries helps
to standardize a national cur-
continued on page 27

Q"NfpAY cs B'V\t\ Caribbean Review of Books Ikevbe Wem y Of ,OOks


Social and Economic
General Editor: J.E. Greene;
Academic Editors: Herman Mc-
Kenzie, Patrick Emmanuel, N.
Abdulah, Wenty Bowen.
Production Editor: Janet Liu-
Published by Institute of Social
and Economic Research, Univer-
sity of the West Indies, Mona,
Kingston 7, Jamaica. Fax: (809)
ISSN 0037-7651
Subscription: Institutions:
Individuals: US$25/ 17
Single copy: US$15/10
For airmail delivery add:

by Evadne McLean
S social and Economic
Studies (SES) the
scholarly journal edited
and produced in
Jamaica, is the first of several
publications issued by the In-
stitute of Social and Economic
Research (ISER) of the University
College of the West Indies
(UCWI), Mona. Its inaugural
issue of February 1953 came out
under the editorial guidance of
H.D. Huggins who was then the
Director of ISER. Huggins also
authored the first article in that
issue 'Employment, economic
development and incentive
financing in Jamaica' (Vol 1, no
1. 1953 pp 3-10). Since then
SES has appeared continuously
and the journal is now in its for-
tieth volume. The early issues
edited by Huggins set the trend
and concern of the journal, same
as the interest of the parent In-
stitute, an area well-defined in
the title of the journal.
The first issue of the annual
volume of SES appears in March.
Every year is receives over 150
manuscripts for possible publica-

tion from authors from all over
the world, some of these from as
far away as Australia and South
Africa, indicating the wide accep-
tance it enjoys internationally as
a leading journal in its field.
However, it is only about 25 of
this annual crop of contributions
that can make the pages of the
SES at the rate of about six per
quarterly issue, and these are
selected after a vigorous process
of refereeing. Thus the contribu-
tions selected to appear in SES
are the documentation of the
results of serious research and
reflection on social, economic
and political problems and policy
issues of relevance to developing
counties, particularly in the
Caribbean region.
When SES was first listed in
Ulrich's International Directory
(7th edition, 1953), it was clas-
sified in Economics in the adden-
da section of the volume in
which it was included. The 28th
edition (1988-89) of Ulrich has
the journal classed in the
category 'Social Sciences; com-
prehensive works,' an indication
of the perception of a widened
and deepened focus in the con-
tent of SES over the years.
From time to time SES has
brought out supplements and
special issues devoted to special-
ly selected subjects and themes.
One such supplement was to Vol
20, no 3 in 1971, entitled
'Politics of Jamaica; towards an
analysis of political change in
Jamaica 1938-1968.'. This sup-
plement contains the introduc-
tion and excerpts from the book
by Rex Nettleford Norman
Washington Manley and the New
Jamaica; Selected Speeches and
Writings 1938-1968 (London,
Longman Caribbean, 1971).
In 1956 SES Vol 5 no 4 was
devoted to a study of the or-
ganization, beliefs and functions
of Revivalist Cults based on field-
work carried out in West
Kingston by George E. Simpson.

No. 2, November 1991

This issue was published under
the title Jamaica Revivalist Cults
and still remains an important
contribution to the under-
standing of Jamaican religion.
Another supplement (to Vol 7 no
2 in 1958) entitled Study of Exter-
nal Migration affecting Jamaica
1953-55 was authored jointly by
G.W. Roberts and D.O. Mills and
contains the results of a study
done at the request of the
Jamaican government of one of
the very important periods of
migration from Jamaica to the
United Kingdom.
Women in the Caribbean is
the title of a more recent set of
two special issues (Vol 35 nos 2
and 3, 1986) which according to.
their editor, Joycelin Messiah,
provide background material for
readers with an interest in Carib-
bean women's issues, and also
contribute to the literature on
Women and Development.
Vol 34 no 4 (December 1985)
was an issue dedicated to the
memory of Dr. Adlith Brown who
until her death in 1984 was the
coordinator of the Regional
Programme of Monetary Studies
of the ISER which has produced
much work and published
material on the subject over the
Among the outstanding con-
tributors to SES are several
scholars of international fame.
Among the earliest was M.G.
Smith, sociologist and Carib-
beanist, whose study 'Some
Aspects of Social Structures in
the British Caribbean about
1820' appeared in Vol 1 no 4
(August 1953, pp. 56-79) and
'Community Organization in
Rural Jamaica' in Vol 5 no 3
(Sept. 1956, pp. 295-312).
Another contributor, was the
celebrated economist and the
first West Indian Nobel Laureate
the late Professor Sir Arthur
Lewis among whose contribu-
tions to SES was the study
'Education and Economic
continued on page 23

Sonny Jim of Sandy Point: A
Novel, by S.B. Jones-Hendrick-
son. Frederiksted, Virgin Is-
lands, Eastern Caribbean
Institute, 1991. 283 p. 0-9
32831-07-9. $12.95. ECI, P.O.
Box 1338, Frederikstead, St.
Croix, Virgin Islands 00841.

by Jennifer Jackson
n this autobiographical novel
as the author reminisces
about his childhood and
early adulthood in Sandy
Point, St. Kitts, the reader is
taken on a physical, spiritual
and emotional journey; through
the customs, the folklore, the
moral values, the social condi-
tions and community spirit of
Sandy Point. It has earned a
place for itself in Caribbean
literature because it is one of the
very few novels, and certainly
the first for St. Kitts, which
describes life in the region as it
was in the ifties and sixties. The
narrative runs parallel to the his-
tory the struggles of the
labour unions, the Queen's visit
to St. Kitts, the first time the
Common Entrance Examination
was allowed to be taken outside
of the traditional grammar
school setting and expresses the
way of living, and the preoccupa-
tions of Caribbean peoples as it
was then.
Although set in St. Kitts, the
theme of the novel is universal to
the Caribbean. Many a young
boy (or girl), whether in St. Kitts,
Dominica, Trinidad, Jamaica, or
wherever, can identify with the
childhood activities of the nar-
rator setting snares for birds
and other animals, making
carts, stealing fruit, stealing fish,
indulging in every forbidden ac-
tivity and
ly having
to think '
of ways to ..

punishment. The story of trying
to catch the mongoose and the
result (pp.79-81) brings tears of
laughter for similar misdeeds
remembered and the tragic
results which were not truly un-
derstood by us children at that
However, to look on this novel
as merely a collection of anec-
dotes about growing up in St.
Kitts would be to miss the point
entirely. Although the story runs
from childhood to young adult-
hood, the voice of the narrator is
frequently the voice of the adult,
making important statements
about social issues, customs and
moral values of the Caribbean at
that time. One statement, "We
were all farmed out" (p.42), clear-
ly expresses the social condi-
tions and the ways they were
dealt with. There is no indict-
ment of the mother for farming
out the children. That was simp-
ly the way it was. If one could
not take care of one's own
children, they were given to per-
sons, not necessarily relatives,
who could. This was often
mutually beneficial. It relieved
the biological parent from some
of the burdens of child rearing,
and provided the adoptive parent
with a young person who could
run errands and do chores.
Thus, his mother felt a need to
explain to everyone she met why
she was going against the sys-
tem, why she was taking back
her son, so that she would not
be blamed for leaving Miss Annie
childless (p. 40).
"Sharing was a common code
among us in Sandy Point"
(p.244). A simple but profound
statement of the values of a
society ~

No. 2, November 1991
where everyone knew everyone
else, where economic poverty
was common, and where, in
spite of their poverty, neigh-
bours were willing to help each
other in every way possible. "My
mother did not have the twenty-
four dollars to pay for the six
subjects I was to take. Teacher
Mr. Griffin came through for me"
(p.131). That act signified not
the teacher's ability to pay for
the pupil, but the vested interest
the community had in the
development of its young people,
and the lengths to which that
community would go to assure
their progress. Many of us in the
Caribbean will remember the
teachers Griffin, those who
taught us at no charge, those
who gave hours of their time to
ensure that a promising pupil
would make the grade. The
pupil's triumph was not only a
personal one: it was also the
community's triumph.
A strong moral code is also to
be seen expressed throughout
the novel. Whether it related to
affairs of the heart, "but the code
among boys was, never share a
girl" (p.244), or to a deeper sense
of ethics, "people who does lie,
does tief" (p.57), it reaffirms the
basic values of Caribbean
society at that time, and makes
one regret the passing of time,
and the changes in values which
are evident today. As one reads,
one wishes for a return to that
period, when life was simpler,
when the only cost of recreation
was one's imagination, and
when simple pleasures could be
enjoyed. Certainly some of the
same prejudices existed. The
author points to some of the nar-
rowness and ignorance which in-
sularity fosters (p.202-3).
However, this narrowness was of-
-" fset by the need to
function as part of
a society and
seemed to present
fewer problems
than it does today.
continued on page 25

Caibbean Review of Bgo>k Caribbean Review of Books Caibbn evtew of Books


Omeros. Derek Walcott. NY: Far-
rar, Straus and Giroux. 1990.
320 pages. Hardcover. $25.

By Erika Smilowitz

work, Omeros, an epic
poem, is the sort of book
people will be loath to
admit they haven't read: It is a
magnificently-crafted, compelling
book, which The New York Times
called one of the ten best books
of the year.

From the onset, this book is
an original. Walcott is careful to
use the Greek name for Homer
for the title, Omeros, shunning
Anglicization, and then he
devises a structure of seven
books, which mix time and place.
The major plot revolves around
the Helen of Troy myth
transplanted to a St. Lucian con-
text. The beautiful Helen works
for Major Plunkett and his wife
Maude, proper British colonials,
and lives first with the fisherman
Achille and later with the taxi-
driver, Hector. But there are

s iC ' -A
~-'and hi's ,ptPan .
w. waml in' rec11fA~

*1J sIe do,.- t Union tii; clo
0, d
bar at 'd
;jvthg~~W f nadiaMphex
~~~~e dead.Ws~eedI

NO. Z, November Ivy I

continued overleaf

other important strands as well,
such as Achille's world odyssey,
the narrator/poet's travels and
reflections, the often poignant
scenes between Major Plunkett
and his wife, and a cast of other
characters, including Philoctete,
a man with an incurable wound
at his ankle, symbolic of the
shackles of slavery.
Walcott tells an intriguing
story here, but he is also making
a statement about the post-
colonial Caribbean, about its
present and future. For example,
when the narrator returns to his
childhood home, he foresees "a
!concrete/future ahead of it all, in
the cinder-blocks/of hotel


development". Helen, herself,
seems to stand for the island. Her
subservient relationship to the
English Plunketts, the exploita-
tion of her beauty, and her even-
tual transformation under
outside interests are apparent.
She was selling herself like the
island, without
any pain, and the village did
not seem to care
that it was dying in its change,
the way it whored
away a simple life that would
soon disappear.
Apparent as well is the poet's
extraordinary agility: his metrical-
ly exact, often-rhyming tercets,
and his striking metaphors so

No. 2, November 1991

much a part of the Caribbean
landscape. The power of his intel-
lect is fittingly displayed in his
startling, insightful observations.
When the narrator returns home,
for example, he questions his
desire for life on the island to
stand still: "Didn't I want the
poor/to stay in the same light so
that I could transfix/them in
amber, the afterglow of an em-
pire...Hadn't I made their poverty
my paradise?" But there is humor
too, and, as usual, with Walcott,
his punning. In one outrageous
example, the poet's father, who
visits him as a muse, explains
that he was named Warwick,
continued on p. 12

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C -an '~ of &x>1 Caribbean Review of Books Jnda8ean ke1tw of Books

"Writers, once again, jumping to conclusions!"
The prize, one year's subscription goes to Kwame Char-
les of the UWI Centre for Hotel & Tourism Management
in the Bahamas. The printer's devil had offered a year's
subscription to SES (Social and Economic Studies)
when we actually meant CRB (Caribbean Review of
Books)! Kwame can have his pick of the two.
A close runner-up was this quotation from Oliver Wen-
dell Holmes:

"Depart, be off, excede, evade, -

:r~itrm ~~rl~l\
: i;

Books on the Dutch

Caribbean in 1990

Rodolia Beetle
Rodolia cardinalis

by Samuel B. Bandara

publication issued by the
Department of Caribbean
Studies at the Royal In-
stitute of Linguistics and
Anthropology (RILA) is the 1990
issue of its annual publication
Caribbean Studies (published
July 1991) compiled by Jo Derkz.
In a very brief preface the com-
piler describes the content of this
annual list as consisting of "titles
of books, book-articles and peri-
odical-articles on Suriname, the
Netherlands Antilles and Aruba,
the Caribbean (by Surinamese,
Antillean, Aruban or Dutch
authors) and Surinamese, Antil-
leans, and Arubans in the Nether-
lands" indicating that an article,
to be included in it would have to
be at least five pages in length. If
you are very smart you will al-
ready know what to expect in
Caribbean Studies, but if the
wording is a little difficult do not
give up. With a little effort, read-
ing the sentence slowly, and read-
ing it more than once, you will, as
I did, understand what categories
of material to expect.
With the specialists, resources
and support of the RILA behind it
the Department of Caribbean
Studies maintains a strong Carib-
bean collection especially rich in
material on the areas listed in the
quote and we know that this col-
lection grows each year with the
latest material available added to
it. Although the short preface
does not say so, this bibliography
is without doubt compiled from
the base of these acquisitions and
provides a listing that could give
No. 2, November 1991

us the best possible guidance to
the areas of the Caribbean histori-
cally associated with the Nether-
lands. It is unlikely that there is
any other publication from which
one could expect and get the
guidance that this volume
provides to the annual crop of
material published in Dutch for
the defined geographical area,
and it is very likely that the same
is true for publications in
English. With an average of 6 to 7
citations on each page we can ex-
pect to locate a total of around
365 useful references on its 54
pages of text and the larger por-
tion of this total is in Dutch. It is
thus a very useful compilation
and those who already have the
volume Suriname: A Bibliography
1980-1989 by Jo Derkx and Irene
Rolfes (published last year by
RILA) can now buy this volume
and use its first 20 pages on
Suriname as a supplement to
bring the larger volume up-to-
date to the end of 1990. To be
able to do so with the degree of
confidence that can be recom-
mended in this case is not a bibli-
ographic achievement that can be
claimed for any other part of the
Caribbean. What it does mean is
that for Suriname (and perhaps
the rest of the Dutch Caribbean
too), by July or August of each
year, there is a fairly complete pic-
ture of what has been published
by way of scholarly material up to
the end of the previous year. The
Department of Caribbean Studies
at RILA and its bibliographers in-
cluding Jo Derkx, must be com-
mended for this achievement and
the same level of industry and am-

bition should be promoted as the
goal to be set by other bibliog-
raphers and librarians serving
the region.
To bring at least a little share
of the information collected and
presented in this bibliography we
have picked out the following
English language monographic tit-
les from the listings in Caribbean
Studies 1990:

Alabi's World, by Richard Price. Bal-
timore, MD. The Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1990. 444p. (Johns
Hopkins Studies in Atlantic History
and Culture) 0-8018-3956-4 (pbk),
US$18.95, 0-8018-3862-2 (hdc),

Archaeological Investigations on Aruba:
The Malmok Cemetery, by A.H.
Versteeg, J. Tacoma and P. van de
Velde. (Oranjestad), Archaeological
Museum ofAruba, 1990. 83p. (Publi-
cation of the Archaeological Museum
Aruba, No. 2). (Publication of the Foun-
dation for Scientific Research in the
Caribbean Region, No. 126).

The Boni Maroon Wars in Suriname, by
Wim Hoogbergen, Leiden, Brill, 1990.
254p. 90-04-09303-6. US$60.00

Building up the Future from the Past:
Studies on the Architecture and Historic
Monuments in the Dutch Caribbean,
edited by Henry E. Coomans, Michael
A. Newton and Maritza Coomans-Eus-
tatia. (Zutphen), De Walburg Press,
1990. 268p. (UNA Publications, 34) 90-

Composition and Characterization of 1l-
licit Cocaine Seized at the Netherlands
Antilles, Proefschrift. Rijksuniversitelt
Gronlngen, 1990. 113p

No. 2, November 1991

Crisis and Creativity in the New
Literatures in English, edited by Geof-
frey Davis and Hena Maes-Jelinek,
Amsterdam, Rodopi, 1990,
(Cross/Cultures: 1).

Delinquency and Ethnicity: An Inves-
tigation on Social Factors Relating to
Delinquency among Moroccan, Turkish,
Surinamese and Dutch Boys, by
Marianne Junger. Deventer, Kluwer
Law and Taxation Publishers, 1990.
175p. (Ook verschenen als proefschrift
Vrike Universiteit Amsterdam), 90-

The Dutch Caribbean: Prospects for
Democracy, edited by Betty Sedoc-
Dahlberg. New York, Gordon and
Breach, 1990. 333p. (Caribbean
Studies. 5), 2-88124-385-1.

The Dutch in the Atlantic Slave Trade
1600-1815, by Johannes Menne
Postma, Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press, 1990. 488p. 0-521-
36585-6. US$54.50.

The Dutch in the Caribbean and in
Surinam 1791/5-1942, by Comelis Ch.
Goslinga. Assen. Van Gorcum, 1990.
812p. (Anjerpublicaties. 22), 90-232-

Epidemiology and Control of Malaria in
Suriname: With Special Reference to
'Anopheles darlingi. (Dissertation,
University of Leiden), 1990. 171p.

Fotografie in Suriname 1839-
1939/Photography in Suriname 1839-
1939, edited by A. Groeneveld.
Amsterdam, Fragment: Rotterdam,
Museum voor Volkenkunde, 1990.
96p. (Fotografle uit de Collective van
het Museum voor Volkenkunde. d 1. 5).

The Future of English as Medium of
Instruction in the Public Schools on St.
Maarten, by Alma Kathleen Fleming-
Rogers. Dissertation, Boston Univer-
sity School of Education, 1990. 171p.
(available from University Microfilms
............ ....... .. ................. a

Mechanical Annual Cropping on Low
Fertility Acid Soils in the Humid Tropics:
A Case Study of the Zandery Soils in
Suriname, edited by B.H. Janssen and

J.F. Wienk. Wageningen, Agricultural
University, 1990. 230p. (Wageningen
Agricultural University Papers, 90-5),

Pidgin and Creole Tense-Mood-Aspect
Systems, edited by John Victor Singler.
Amsterdam, Benjamins, 1990. (Creole
Language Library, Vol. 6), 1-55619-
102-2. US$58.00.

Recent Brachipoda from the Snellius
and Luymes Expeditions to the
Surinam-Guyana Shelf, Bonaire-
Curacao, and Saba Bank, Caribbean
Sea, 1966 and 1969-1972, by A.
Logan. Leiden. Rijksmuseum van
Natuurlijke Histoire, 1990. (123-
136p.) (Zoologische mededelingen;
dl.63, No. 11).

Resistance and Rebellion in Suriname:
Old and New, edited by Gary Brana-
Shute. Williamsburg, VA., College of
William and Mary, Department of
Anthropology, 1990. 310p. (Studies in
Third World Societies, No. 43).

The Rise of a Caribbean Island's Litera-
ture: The Case of Curacao and its Writ-
ing in Papiamentu, edited by Aart G.
Broek. Proefschrift, Vrije Universiteit
Amsterdam, 1990. 351p.

Suitcase Traders in the Free Zone of
Curacao, by Monique Lagro and Donna
Plotkin. Port of Spain, Economic Com-
mission for Latin America and the
Caribbean (ECLAC), 1990. 66p.

Suriname: A Bibliography 1980-1989,
by Jo Derkx and Irene Rolfes. Leiden,
Royal Institute of Linguistics and
Anthropology, Department of Carib-
bean Studies, 1990. 297p. (Caribbean
Bibliographies). 90-6718-020-3.

The source bibliography for the above is:
Caribbean Studies, 1990, compiled by
J. Derkx. Leiden, Royal Institute of
Linguistics and Anthropology, Dept of
Caribbean Studies, 1991. (6), 54p. (An-
nual). Subscription dfl. 15 for a 3-year
period. Countries outside Netherlands
addition dfl. 10 for handling. Dept. of
Caribbean Studies, Royal Institute of
Linguistics and Anthropology, P.O.
Box 9515, RA Leiden, The Netherlands.

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LOUIS FILLER, The Crusade Against
Slavery, Hamish Hamilton Ltd. London
1960. 318pp. Illustrated, Jacket worn,
Worlds A look at Immigrants in Britain,
Clarke, Irwin & Co. Ltd. Toronto 1964.
168 pp, Appendix, $18.00.
SHEILA PATTERSON, Immigrants in In-
dustry, I.R.R. O.U.P., London. 1968 425
pp, 2 maps, 3 charts. 4 Appendices. $45.00.
PETER L. WRIGHT, The coloured worker
in Industry Special Reference to Mid-
lands and North of England, LR.R. O.U.P.
London, 1968, 423 pp. Appendix, $42.00.
SHEILA PATTERSON, Immigration and
Race Relations in Britain 1960-1967,
LR.R. O.U.P., London 1969,457 pp. 10
Appendices, $42.00.
BRIAN WEINSTEIN, Eboue Biography
O.U.P., London 1972, 350 pp. 18 Illustra-
tions, 3 maps $24.00.
WILLIAMS WALSH, Commonwealth
Literature O.U.P. London 1973, 150 pp.
MADDEN, British Colonial Develop-
ments, 1774-1834 Select Documents
O.U.P. 1953 619 pp. $3.00.
JOHN S. MBITI. (ed), Akamba Stories.
O.U.P. London 1966 240 pp, $38.00.
RUTH FINNEGAN, (ed), Limba Stories
and Story Telling, O.U.P. London 1967,
$352 pp. $40.00.
HENRY F. MORRIS, The Heroic Recita-
tions of the Bahima ofAnkole. O.U.P., Lon-
don 1964, 2 Appendices, 3 Illustrations,
Trickster, O.U.P., London 1967, 240 pp. 3
plates 2 Appendices, $42.00.
LADY BRASSEY. In the Trade, the
Tropics and the Roaring Forties.
Longmans, Green and Company, London
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Spine split, slight foxing $95.00.

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mBoBDWie (Af B3D3xID

Omeros, continued
"The Bard's county" and adds
"It's that Will you inherit."
For all its linguistic virtuosity,
however, the poem is both acces-
sible and entertaining and reads
much like a novel. The charac-
ters are full of life and passion;
for instance, Achille and Helen
fight near the marketplace:
...She stopped, and in her
fury screamed: "Leave me, little
Achille rammed her
against a van. He had startled
a panther. Claws
raked his face in a flash; when
he gripped an arm, her
fine teeth sawed his knuckles,
she clawed at his good clothes,
so he, in turn, ripped the yel-
low dress in his rage.
Notwithstanding his impres-
sive previous achievements,
Omeros displays the writer's
talent as never before. The Inde-
pendent [of London] called
Omeros, "a grand and exhilarat-
ing achievement," and "a tower-
ing book, the like of which
appears only rarely." Clearly a
tour deforce for Walcott, this is a
must-read book for all discerning
CRB is grateful to Erika
Smilowitz and The Caribbean
Writer for permission to
reprint the above review from
Vol. 5 (1991) pp.131-133.
The Caribbean Writer is
edited by Erika Smilowitz and
is published from the Carib-
bean Research Institute of the
University of the Virgin Is-
lands. Address: RR02, Box
10,000, Kinghill, St. Croix, US
Virgin Islands, 00850 for both
editorial and subscription cor-

by Derek Walcott. This list
has been prepared for CRB
by The Bookshop (At LOJ
Industrial Park, 7-9 Norman
Road, Unit A3-1, A3-2, Kingston
16; and Shop 6 Springs Shopping
Centre, 17C Constant Spring Rd,
Kingston 10; and shop 28,
Spanish Town Shopping Centre,
Spanish Town, Jamaica)

The Arkansas Testament (poetry). New
York, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1984.
104p. 0-374-10582-0 $14.95 (Ldc) Lon-
don, Faber & Faber, 1988 117p. 0-571-
14909-x 3.99 (pbk)

Castaway London, Jonathan Cape,
1969. 62p. (new ed. pbk) 0-2245-
61772-9 3.95

Collected Poems, 1948-1984 New York.
Farrar, Strauss and Giroux 1986. 516
p. 0-374-12626-7 $25.00 (hdc) 0-374-
52025-9 $13.95 (pbk)

Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other
Plays New York, Farrar, Strauss &
Giroux, 1970. 326 p. 0-374-50860-7.
$12.95 (pbk)

The Fortunate Traveller New York, Far-
rar. Strauss & Giroux, 1982. 112p. 0-
374-15765-0 $11.95 (hdc)
0-374-51744-4 $8.95 (pbk) London,
Faber & Faber, 1982. x, 99p. 0-571-
11893-3 3.95 (pbk)

Gulf and other Poems London, Jonathan
Cape. 1975 71p. (new ed. pbk) 0-224-
01057-3 2.50

don't go
way, ask
for CRB

The Joker of Seville and 0 Babyloni (2
plays). New York, Farrar, Strauss &
Giroux. 1978. 288p. 0-374-17998-0
$15.00 (hdc)

Midsummer New York, Farrar, Strauss
& Giroux. 72p. 0-374-51863-7. $7.95
(pbk) London, Faber & Faber, 1984.
79p. 0-571-13180-8 4.99 (pbk.)

Omeros (epic poem) New York, Farrar.
Strauss & Giroux, 1989. 136p. 0-
374022591-5 $20 (hdc) London, Faber
& Faber, 1990. 0-571-14459-4 9.99
(pbk) 0-571-16070-0 17.50 (hdc)

Plays for Today by Derek Walcott. Den-
nis Scott and Errol Hill (ed). Harolow,
Longman, 1986. 233p. 0-582-78620-7.
4.50 (pbk) (Longman's Caribbean
Writers Series)

Rememberance and Pantomime New
York, Farrar, Strauss & Giroux. 1980.
176p. 0-374-24912-1 8.50 (hdc) 0-
374-51569-7. $7.95. (pbk)
The Star-Apple Kingdom. (Poetry). New
York. Farrar. Straus &Giroux. 1979.
58p. 0-374-26974-2 $7.95 (hdc) 0-374-
51532-8. $7.95. (pbk) London,
Jonathan Cape, 1980. 0-224-01780-2
3.95 (pbk).

Three Plays : The Last Carnival- Beef, No
Chicken: A Branch of the Blue Nile. New
York, Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1986.
31 lp $9.95 (pbk.)

No.'2, November 1991

No. 2, November 1991

The Jamaican Historical Review,
Vol. XVII, 1991, Health, Disease
and Medicine in Jamaica, The
Jamaican Historical Society, c/o
The Institute of Jamaica, 12-16
East Street, Kingston, Jamaica.

by Verene Shepherd

Historical Review is
devoted to the discussion
of health, disease, nutri-
tion, medicine and medical prac-
titioners in Jamaica in the
slavery and post-slavery periods.
Its four articles, arranged
chronologically, cover the
period 1750-1881 and are
reflective of the recent
scholarship on epidemiol-
ogy, the state of medical
knowledge, and the ade-
quacy of medical practice in
the Caribbean in the
eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries. The articles also
touch on the larger issue of
the relationship between health,
disease and medical treatment
and population growth/decline.
The first article by Richard
Sheridan, 'Slave Medicine in
Jamaica: Thomas Thistlewood's
"Receipts for a Physick", 1750-
1786' is the only one devoted en-
tirely to the slavery period. His
concern is with the role of one
overseer Thomas Thistlewood
- in treating slave illnesses on a
livestock farm in Jamaica. He jus-
tifies his micro-study of
Thistlewood by stating that
'probably more than any other
person, the health of the slaves
rested in the hands of the
overseer' (p.2) who not only
directed the slaves in their day-to-
day labour and distributed food
and clothing, but also gave them
medical supplies at times
without any consultation with the
white doctors. Sheridan gives the
impression that Thistlewood was

a rather exceptional overseer and
planter who left a day-to-day ac-
count of his treatment of slaves.
The scope of his article, however,
does not allow the reader to un-
derstand the basis of his con-
clusion as little comparative data
are supplied. Nevertheless, this
article provides a rare insight into
common afflictions of the slaves
and the treatments administered
by Thomas Thistlewood.
'Doctors and Ex-slaves in
Jamaica, 1834-1850' by Nadine
Wilkins, spans the appren-
ticeship and immediate post-
slavery periods, ending just about
the time of the great cholera

epidemic. Her focal point is that
as 'free' citizens, ex-slaves now
had the responsibility of provid-
ing medical care for themselves;
for both the government and the
elite white class believed that to
do otherwise would be to "en-
courage idleness...and reduce in-
centives for earning wages by
agricultural labour". (p.20) In a
situation where planters no
longer took the responsibility of
providing medical treatment for
their non-immigrant workers,
where the population of white
doctors had declined, where
white doctors were in any case,
inaccessible to the labouring clas-
ses, black medical practitioners
(former 'hothouse' attendants,
midwives, slave doctors and
'doctresses') multiplied. This is a
good comparative article where
developments in education are
juxtaposed to show more effective-
ly the failure of black medical
care after the abolition of slavery.

The third article written
jointly by Brian Higgins and Ken-
neth Kiple deals with 'Cholera
in mid-nineteenth century
Jamaica'. The first part of the ar-
ticle is rather specialized, focuss-
ing on the etiology and
epidemiology of this disease
which had such a devastating im-
pact on Jamaica's population,
taking around 40,000 lives. They
demolish the myth that Indian im-
migrants brought cholera to the
island, showing that although
cholera originated in India, it
spread to Jamaica via Panama.
The most fascinating aspect of
the article is the discussion on
the impact of cholera on
the population and the dif-
ferential impact it had on
blacks, whites and In-
dians. The authors con-
clude that blacks were the
hardest hit. By contrast,
relatively few whites and
Indians succumbed. The
impact on the Indians
might surprise some
readers; but it would seem that
some measure of separation from
blacks, immunity already ac-
quired in India and a highly
spiced diet which helped Indians
to maintain high levels of gastric
acid which would kill cholera
vibrios upon ingestion, protected
the Indians somewhat. Of these
three factors, the authors accord
primacy to the diet of the Indians.
The final article (apart from
the book reviews) by Aleric
Joseph is the only one with a
specific focus on gender and
gender relations. Her subject is
Mary Seacole represented here
as a truly remarkable woman
who contributed much to health
care inside and outside of
Jamaica. Perhaps this article
ought to have followed Wilkins' as
it zeroes in on Seacole's role as
doctresss'. Seacole clearly put her
training in Afro-Jamaican herbal
medicine to good advantage. Her
continued on p. 30

CatTiba f $ o Books Caribbean Review of Books1P*Mew RevlewofIBooks

L3KWAl( fY xffD 11Dfk

Jamaica Journal Index 1967-
1989. Kingston: Institute of
Jamaica Publications, 1991. iv,
72 p. ISSN 0021-4124. IOJ Publi-
cations Ltd., 2A Suthermere
Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica

by Judy Rao

has an index! This
news, I feel sure, will be
greeted with relief by
users who will no longer have to
resort to serendipity to access
the journal's contents. The staff
of the Institute of Jamaica Publi-
cations must also be relieved as
the lack of an index has been a
blot on the journal's fine reputa-
The index covers the years
1967-1989 and is divided into
two alphabetical sequences,
author and subject. As with all
indexes, it is advisable to read
the compilers' preliminary state-
ment in order to understand the
finer points of the arrangement
and of the individual entries. For
example, an explanation under
Subject Index reads "the names
of artists appear alphabetically
with a notation, e.g. See Paint-
ings, indicating the entry under
which their works can be found."
It seems to me that artists might
more accurately be considered
"authors" of their works and thus
earn an individual entry in that
section of the index. Under the
present arrangement an artist is
buried in the sixteen columns of
entries for "Paintings". Similarly
users are referred from the
names of individual sculptors to
the subject heading "Sculpture"
(although in the case of Alvin
Marriott the reference has been
omitted) where there are six
columns of entries. The com-
pilers could and should have
avoided such long lists as they
are more difficult to follow.

The introduction also explains
the abbreviations used in the
author index to identify literary
types, (p) for example indicates
poem, and further that "these
categories will be found in the
Subject index." I have no quarrel
with this principle as it is useful
to be able to identify, at a glance,
the poems that have been pub-
lished in the journal. However
the category "essay" (e) seems
rather odd in this context. The
compilers apparently agreed with
this view as the category was
abandoned mid-stream. But the
impression now left is that the
journal has not published an
essay since 1974.
The compilers have taken the
decision, without explanation
and therefore apparently ar-
bitrarily, to shorten some titles.
Jerome S. Handler's article "The
'Bird Man': A Jamaican Arawak
Wooden 'Idol'" appears in both
parts of the index as "The 'Bird
Man'...". The omission renders
the title almost meaningless; the
most that can be gathered from
the Subject Index is that the ar-
ticle has something to do with
Arawaks. But at least this ex-
ample shows some consistency.
Swithin Wilmot's "Not 'Full Free':
The Ex-slaves and the Appren-
ticeship System in Jamaica 1834-
1838" appears as "The
Apprenticeship System..." in the
Author Index. In the subject
index it appears under "Slavery"
as "Not 'Full Free'...The Appren-
ticeship System..." and under
"Slavery-Abolition" in full but
with incorrect pagination.
Second authors normally earn
an individual entry in the author
index by reversing the order of
the names. For example, "The St.
Thomas Fish Kill" is entered
under "Aiken, Karl and Jupp,
Barry" and "Jupp, Barry and
Aiken, Karl." Users should have
been alerted to this practice and
advised that the Author Index
cannot be used to check citations

No. 2, November 1991

in cases of multiple authorship.
The correct order of names can
be found by referring to an entry
for the article in the Subject
Index but it is doubtful that
users would think of this solu-
tion. Why should they? The prob-
lem should not have been
created in the first place. The
rule of awarding an individual
entry to second authors has been
breached in the case of Lakshmi
Mansingh's second-authorship of
an article with Ajai Mansingh.
This omission seems to based
solely on the grounds that Mrs.
Mansingh would follow her hus-
band in the alphabetical se-
Throughout the index, it
seems as if divers hands have
been operating without
guidelines. The shortening of tit-
les is a case in point, as is the
use of references. In the Subject
Index users are sometimes
referred from a specific to a more
general heading, for example,
"Fish" See Animals. On other oc-
casions there is an entry for an
article under both the specific
and the more general heading,
for example "Frogs" See also
Animals. In the case of Marjorie
Davidson's article "Ackees and
Avocadoes" an entry appears
under "Fruits", but without a ref-
erence to the entry under "Ackee"
and there is no entry under
I could point to a number of
other errors and inconsistencies,
but I would not want to leave the
impression that I was quibbling.
Nor would I want to leave the im-
pression that the index has little
to commend it. Dennis Ranston's
cover design is most attractive. I
have checked two years of issues
against the index and have found
no omissions. The three column
page and the employment of dif-
ferent type faces are pleasing to
the eye and generally easy to fol-
low. The exception I have noted
above. Most importantly, I am
continued on page 26

No. 2, November 1991

1. Source Materials for the Study
of the Archaeology and Pre-his-
tory of Barbados. ed. by Ronald
V. Taylor with unpublished chap-
ters by C.N.C. Roach. [Barbados,
The Editor,] 1991. 603pp. illus.
2. Prehistoric Barbados, by Peter
L. Drewett with major contribu-
tions from Elizabeth Wing et al.
London, Institute of Archaeology,
University College London, [and]
Barbados Museum and Historical
Society, 1991. 196pp. illus. 1-
873132-15-8. Bds$75.00.
3. Supplement to a guide to
source materials for the study of
Barbados history, 1627-1834, by
Jerome S. Handler. Providence,
Rhode Island, The John Carter
Brown Library and the Barbados
Museum and Historical Society,
1991. 89p. 0-916617-35-1. (hdc)

n his introduction, Ronald V.
Taylor, points to 1985 as a
"watershed" for Barbadian ar-
chaeology, separating the
limited and sporadic work which
had been carried out prior to that
date from the concentrated, five-
year Archaeological Survey of Bar-
bados which was to be
undertaken from 1985 to 1989
by the Field Archaeology Unit of

the Institute of Archaeology,
University of London, under the
direction of Dr. Peter L. Drewett
at the invitation of the Barbados
Museum and Historical Society.
The pre-1985 findings existed in
a variety of scattered sources,
principally journal articles and
conference papers but also in a
few monographs and un-
published manuscripts, and
Taylor took upon himself the con-
siderable task of collecting them
together and publishing them in
a single volume. The result is a
work which will prove an im-
mense convenience both to the
interested layman and to the
scholar wishing to carry out re-
search in the area.
The publication of Taylor's
volume was timed to coincide
with the holding in Barbados in
July of the XIVth Congress of the
International Association for
Caribbean Archaeology, as was to
some extent that of Drewett's
Prehistoric Barbados, the most
comprehensive record to date of
what has been achieved in the Ar-
chaeological Survey of Barbados,
and both were launched at the
Congress, to an enthusiastic
It may be felt that the books
physically reflect the state of Bar-
badian archaeology on either side
of the watershed, if we are to ac-
cept Taylor's analysis, for al-
though one can readily imagine
the reasons which would have
necessitated the choice of the
method, it must be conceded that
the manner in which the material
is republished in Source
Materials, through the reproduc-
tion of photocopies, considerably

Archaeology & History of Barbados

Caribban RevAew f Books Caribbean Review of Books Cadbbean Reviw of Books

by Alan Moss

diminishes the internal aesthetic
appeal of the book. Drewett's
Prehistoric Barbados, on the
other hand, is a handsome, well-
illustrated volume which would
seem to bear testimony to an
easier access to material resour-
ces. Together they comprise a
comprehensive state-of-the-art
summation of the archaeology of
The authority and usefulness
of Handler's A guide to the source
materials for the study of Bar-
bados history, 1627-1834 (Car-
bondale, Southern Illinois
University Press, 1971) have long
been recognized. The recent joint
publication by the Barbados
Museum and Historical Society
and the John Carter Brown
Library of a Supplement is there-
fore warmly to be welcomed.

EBDwfiw ofS IBDDolk

The Last Room by Elean Thomas,
Virago Press, London, 1991,
13.95 hbk

By Susan Knight
T his book could easily
have been a failure. It is a
novel written by a poet
and the story of working-
class people told by an educated
middle-class woman.
The first chapter is an indica-
tion of what could have been had
the author not found her voice
and developed the sureness
of style and flow of storyline
that characterizes the rest of
the book. All the uncertain-
ties one would expect from a
poet and a middle-class
liberal writing about the poor
in prose are in the first chap-
ter. There poetry struggles
with prose and worse, with
dialect, to give rise to rather
disconcerting tricks of
punctuation and grammar
and quaint turns of speech.
Added to this is the rather
patronizing tone of the nar-
rator which intrudes rather
than informs. The reader is
assumed to be ignorant of all
the little details of Jamaican
life and scenery the author
clearly considers herself ex-
pert in. This tone becomes annoy-
ing. Luckily, the first chapter is
brief and before the reader
throws the book aside in irrita-
tion or is entirely mystified by
the twists and turns of the lan-
guage, the story begins.
The Last Room concerns the
lives of three Jamaican women:
the grandmother, Miss Belle, the
daughter, Putus and the
granddaughter, Icylane. The tale
begins in pre-television Jamaica
where the Myrtle Bank Hotel still
stands and ends in Birmingham,
England, possibly in the 1970s.
It examines the lives of the three
women as they move through

rural peasantry, emigration to
Britain and a civil service job in
socialist Kingston, and all the
hurdles they must overcome -
poverty, prejudice, pregnancy,
lack of opportunity and un-
scrupulous men.
The central themes are the
last room (...a Moment of
Decision. Which must be grasped
For Life Or Death.) and the
Seville orange, which healing
drink when mixed with sugar
and water., and in whose rough,
dark skin can be seen purple,
black, dark and light shades of

green and touches of yellow. The
author is at pains to point out
that the Seville orange shrivels
up and becomes crisp, dry and
hard when removed from its
natural home.
The book is about home-com-
ing or the acceptance of home or
oneself. Thomas believes that
alienation breeds madness and
that acceptance of one's roots
fosters health and growth. In this
way, she deals with the theme
central to so many Caribbean
writers the choice between the
European ideal and island
reality. Unlike V.S. Naipaul, she
rejects England and chooses the
West Indian homeland.

The lives of the three women
in The Last Room mirror this
struggle. Miss Belle, the eldest
and most traditional, remains
chained to man and land; Putus
tries to escape via emigration to
Britain and is violated both physi-
cally and mentally, losing her
mind in the process. Finally, the
youngest, Icylane, the first to ac-
cept her colour, class and
country, rejects Britain and
turns to her fellow-Jamaicans to
save herself and her mother.
The descriptions of Jamaican
life and scenery are vivid, as
would be expected from
a poet. The dialogue is
sanitized patois. Even
the much despised for-
eigners could under-
stand it and
presumably, buy the
book. Where Ms.
Thomas triumphs is in
the power of her story
and the genuine pathos
she ultimately achieves.
The story is a moving
one and where it could
have been merely sen-
timental, the vigour and
strength of the central
characters preserve it
from bathos.
She manages to keep
her characters real, no
mean task considering
the cliched moulds they come
from the peasant
grandmother, the Afroed socialist
granddaughter and the hard-
working mother driven to hearing
voices in cold and distant
Britain. Even Ms. Thomas' own
prejudices fail to interrupt once
the story holds the reader's atten-
tion. The book is littered with her
prejudices black people are
warm and real and smell of the
good earth; white people are
cold, inhibited, spiteful and snob-
bish. One never knows what
white people are really thinking.
Men are unscrupulous and out
to frustrate girl-childrens' chan-

No. 2, November 1991

No. 2, November 1991

INTERVIEW... with Elean Thomas

by Annie Paul
lean Thomas
has her offices
in a sunny old
house in a
rapidly industrializing
neighbourhood in
Kingston. Her company
is called Oil Nut, a
fledgeling concern
which aims to publish
the work of new writers,
to distribute books
relevant to the struggles
and aspirations of black
people and to promote
in every way socially
conscious cultural ac-
tivity. (The company is
called Oil Nut after the
Castor Oil plant. Her
paternal grandmother,
of whom Elean has very
good memories, planted
oil nut trees all over her
yard in Old Harbour.
Also in her travels
around the world she
noticed that the oil nut
tree had travelled
wherever black people
had.) Most Jamaicans
have heard of Elean as

Elean Thomas (right) with Mrs. May Davis, the woman
whose face appears on the cover of The Last Room.

the local woman who
married an English
Lord, thus generating
amongst 'socially
conscious' Kingstonians
great anxiety as to the
proper way to address
the wife of Lord Tony
Gifford, a preposterous
concern for those who
know anything about
Elean's background, in-
terests and activities.
Though I had never met
her I was aware of the
various personae
that make up
this amazing
woman poet,
journalist, politi-
cal activist and
now after her
latest book, The
Last Room,
novelist. It was
with some
curiosity there-
fore, that I made
the acquaintance
ofThe Giffordess
as I privately
thought of her
4 and found her to

be a warm, accessible
though steel-pulsed
human being, a person
immensely easy to be
with and to talk to.
CRB: Does The Last
Room reflect your own
experience? To what ex-
tent is it autobiographi-
Elean: I've thought a lot
about this question and
the best way I've found
to answer it is to ex-
plain that t reflects a
situation. I was writing
about a general ex-
perience, aspects of
which are also my ex-
perience and still pain-
ful to me but it was also
such a general ex-
perience that I didn't
think I had the right to
keep it to myself. So it's
a work of fiction that
draws on reality.
CRB: How did you find
the transition from
poetry-writing to writing
prose? Did you have to
exert more or less dis-

cipline than when you
write poetry? Did it in-
volve refining your
poetic style?
Elean: I found writing a
novel like taking an ex-
tended journey. I had
written short stories as
well as poetry and
some of my literary
friends Mervyn Morris,
Carolyn Cooper had al-
ways said that they
thought my prose
much stronger than my
poetry. Ngugi Wa
Thiong'O, the well-
known Kenyan writer
also said the same. For
me myself, there is a
way in which I am really
an intuitive writer. I
don't consciously stick
to one form. Sometimes
I have even taken a
poem and transformed
it into prose. My short
story 'Roberta' was first
written in verse but
there are other pieces
which would be like
tearing my heart out to
change their form.
CRB: Prose reaches
more people though,
doesn't it?
Elean: It depends. If
you're performing your
poetry it's quite dif-
ferent. The average per-
son who wouldn't buy a
book of poetry will walk
into a bookstore and
order one if he has
heard the author read
it. One of the greatest
things coloured writers
have done, and by
coloured I mean all non-
white people, Asiatic,

Caribbemn Review of Bonoks Caribbean Review of Books Idbx e4eviw of ooks

BwDYrflDwj 5f DBoxls

Last room, continued
ces. Even people of mixed race
come out as "red niggers" and
are portrayed as selfish, self-
righteous and exploitative.
Women, black women, are the
heroes of this book. The bottom
of the social barrel, they never-
theless hold together the threads
of life and overcome the
obstacles, perhaps even finding
happiness. The story ends'with
Icylane facing the last room -
the decision she must make in
order to save her mother and her-

self. She decide.to turn to the
"uncivilised" West Indians and
Africans her mother has spumed
and to hold a party for them in
her mother's cold, bare room in
England. Icy is determined and
her mother finally yields.
The reader is left to guess the
future, a guess which will largely
depend on one's own beliefs
about self and home. Perhaps it
is just this personal dilemma that
allows one to relate to the charac-

ters and events in this story and
finally, to be moved by them.
For a first novel, this is certain-
ly a masterly effort and it deser-
ves the Ruth Hadden Memorial
Prize it received. Elean Thomas is
the first recipient of this prize
and has set a high standard for
those that follow. More important
to her perhaps, will be the
enshrinement in the pantheon of
West Indian writers that is sure
to be hers.

African, Arabic... is the
breaking down of the
walls between different
forms of writing. I
mean, look at Maya An-
gelou, she has just writ-
ten five autobiographical
novels and her life isn't
even done yet. I am very
interested in bringing
back the oral forms of
CRB: How did you feel
about living in
England? If you had
children would you like
them to be brought up
in England?
Elean: I had to go to
England at some point
in my life. Because
England bears a
peculiar fascination for
me, I have a love-hate
relationship with it. No
matter what you hear
about it you need to ex-
perience it yourself.
Same way I feel about
Africa though dif-
ferently with Africa
it's not a morbid fascina-
tion with an ex-colonial
power but a reaching
back to the origins.
Our history is so tied
up with England. There
is a lot to learn there.
One can gather a lot of
strength from how black
and coloured peoples in
No. 2, November 1991

England manage to sur-
vive and to keep their
identity in what is really
a terribly hostile atmos-
phere. A lot of respect is
due to our people who

socially and economical-
ly with the promise of a
better life for their
children. But the
sacrifice comes to
nought because now the

gro up SinS Enln.M ubn
an -I hav dicse thi andgre
tha our chlde wil bebogtu

have gone there and
lived and raised
children there.
Having lived in
England and the Carib-
bean and visited Africa
as well I think racism is
an international
phenomenon but in
England it is particular-
ly deep and pervasive. It
is built into all its in-
stitutions all without
exception in such a way
that it replicates itself
from generation to
generation. Our parents
went up there, some of
ourtbest people, and
that whole generation
had to take a step down

second generation is
being kept down.
And all this leads to
your question on
whether we would bring
up our children in
England. No, I would
not let my children grow
up in England. My hus-
band and I have dis-
cussed this and agree
that our children will be
brought up and edu-
cated in the Caribbean
at least till first degree
stage. They must have a
grounding in our cul-
CRB: You say "our cul-
ture" referring to the

Caribbean even though
your husband is
Elean: My husband is
definitely a dissident
from racism. He spent a
lot of time in Africa and
has adopted the culture
CRB: How do you get on
with your in-laws? Did
you face any hostility
from them on marrying
their son, the sixth
Baron Gifford?
Elean: I get on very well
with them actually.
There was no hostility,
in fact I was very close
to my husband's
mother, the Dowager
Lady Gifford. She was a
real rebel in her time,
an Australian woman
who went mountain
climbing and rode a
donkey around Albania.
Going back to the ques-
tion of England I want
to clarify that it wasn't
all negative there were
positives too. England is
such a crossroads.
There is a very rich cul-
ture in London -
though officially this is
seen as a subculture -
I had some lovely inter-
actions with good
people from different
continued on p. 26

Muslimeen, continued
for their failure was the refusal of
the masses to rise up in support
of the attack on Parliament. The
only uprising it ensured was that
of looters who pursued their own
interests rather than those of a
small band of gunmen in quest of
In The Musltmeen Grab for
Power, Selwyn Ryan attempts to
describe and analyse what hap-
pened in Trinidad and Tobago on
27 July 1990. The work was pub-
lished exactly a year after the in-
surrection. In attempting to
cover the complexity of the event,
Ryan touches on an assortment
of topics including a background
account of dissent and rebellion
in Trinidad, the socio-economic
environment immediately prior to
the Muslimeen uprising, the in-
surrection itself, the looting, and
the international and foreign
dimensions. Readers who are un-
familiar with the facts of the in-
surrection (these hardly include
residents of Trinidad and Tobago)
would find the report by Ryan
very informative. The outside
world has long awaited such a
report and Ryan has performed
the service of mobilising some of
the essential facts in an outline
account of the Muslimeen insur-
For those who have kept a
close eye on the event however,
Ryan's effort is something of a
disappointment. The primary
source of data for the main chap-
ters was the media. The insurrec-
tion was comprehensively
covered by the local newspapers;
the public gobbled this up as
quickly as it was reported. Most
accounts related in the book are
merely a summary or recitation
of what was widely known. Little
new data of consequence appears
in the volume. Very often the
chapters are studded with long
single-spaced newspaper quota-
tions that could drive the reader
to distraction. The chapters con-

No. 2, November 1991

sist of regurgitations of
newspaper reports. "Facts" are es-
tablished not by substantiation
but by quotations from these ar-
ticles. This procedure leaves
Ryan open to the legitimate
charge that the book is but a
second rate journalistic report
parading as contemporary his-
Despite these negative observa-
tions, Ryan has made important
contributions in his study of the
Muslimeen uprising. Most impor-
tant, his public opinion poll
revealed that the overwhelming
majority of citizens disapproved
of the mode of the Muslimeen
grab for power in seeking redress
for their grievances. Clearly, Abu
Bakr, the Muslimeen leader, and
his cohorts were not such
popular folk heroes as some
would make them out to be. It
must always be remembered that
Abu Bakr initiated his attack on
the government only when it be-
came clear that his properties at
Mucurapo were threatened with
impending removal. Poverty and
oppression were ex post fact
roped in as justification. To call
such a self-centred act heroic is
unadulterated nonsense. To link
Abu Bakr to the heroes of slave
rebellions and industrial strikes,
as Ryan has done, is sacrilege.
The leaders of these historical
uprisings had engaged a wider
vision of liberation, many paying
the ultimate price with their
lives. They threatened no one
with lofty religious claims to a su-
perior civilisation. All of this does
not suggest that a wider transcen-
dental purpose could not be
reconstructed from the ruins of
the rebellion and enlisted in the
service of the poor. Poverty is
very real in Trinidad and Tobago;
it has, however, been more con-
structively tackled by the ac-
tivities of the Christian
establishment which Abu Bakr in-
veighed against. It can be argued

quite convincingly that had the
Muslimeen uprising succeeded it
would have inaugurated an order
marked by more oppression than
liberation promised.
How is the insurrection to be
explained? Many commentators
placed the onus on economic con-
ditions: they pointed to the strin-
gent IMF measures that the NAR
government had instituted includ-
ing VAT, devaluation and pay
cuts. Unemployment had risen to
23 per cent. The gloom of the
post-oil-boom period, resulting in
a dramatic halving of per capital
income, created a siege mentality
throughout the society. Many
people were migrating from
Trinidad, some seeking refugee
status. The Robinson-led regime,
only a few years in power, was
blamed for this, while it in turn
blamed the previous PNM govern-
ment. It was in the shadow of
these conditions that the Mus-
limeen conspired to grab power
and some people, forgetting that
the poor rarely make revolutions,
bought into this dissembling
hypothesis. Ryan, to his credit,
did not seem to buy into this
facile explanation although he ar-
gued that the economic decline
invited opportunism.
Basdeo Panday, the leader of
the largest bloc of opposition par-
liamentarians and erstwhile
partner with Robinson in found-
ing the multi-ethnic NAR party,
offered an alternative explanation
of equal power to the economic
rationale. He contended that the
allegedly wilful destruction of the
NAR rainbow coalition by Robin-
son delegitimised authority of the
new government leaving a yawn-
ing invitation to malcontents to
destabilise the ruling regime. Al-
though abstract as compared to
the economic explanation, the ar-
gument had much potency. (See
Ryan's earlier volume, The Disil-
lusioned Electorate). The breakup
of NAR and the eviction of Pan-
continued on p. 24

C$ribean Rvew of books Caribbean Review of Books C rebean Rview of 1ooks

(If you wish to review any of these books write to the editor)

A Dictionary of Common Trinidad
Hindi, compiled by Kumar Mahabir
and Sita Mahabir. Illustrated by S.K.
Ragbir. El Dorado. Chakra Publishing
Co., 1990. (8), 44p.
(Address: 23 Wilkinson Street, El
Dorado, Trinidad & Tobago).

Black Inspiration (With Humour): A
Royal Guide to Self-Awareness, Motiva-
tion and Success, by -Lascelles J.
Poyser, Kingston, Author, 1991. xviii,
308p. 976-8091-13-4. /-10.00,
(Address of Publisher: New World
House, 10-14 Melmac Avenue, P.O.
Box 233, Kingston 5, Jamaica).

Calypso and Society in Pre-Inde-
pendence Trinidad, by Gordon Roh-
lehr. Port of Spain, Author, 1990, x,
613p., ill. 976-8012-52-8.
(Address: 47 Clenside Gardens,
Tunapuna. Trinidad & Tobago).

Caribbean and Central American
Databook, 1991. US$50 (plus postage
$3.50 in the US or $7.50 overseas),
available from: C/CAA (Carib-
bean/Central American Action) 1211
Connecticut Avenue, NW., Suite 510,
Washington, D.C. 20036.
m l.......m ........... m ..........n.... .

Caribbean Ecology and Economics.
Norman Girvan and David A. Simmons
Editors, Kingston, Jamaica. Published
by ISER, UWI, Mona for the Caribbean
Conservation Association, St. Michael,
Barbados, 1991, 976-40-0028-2 pbk,
US$20.00. 258 p.

Caribbean Eken 9yo Cefr Report to the
36thMeet gftheCommonwealthCaribbearn
Medial Resear Coumd (CMRC, Apr 25-
27, 1991. art of Spain CAREC, 1991.17p.
Address: Caribbean Epidanilogy Centre
CAREC). P.O. Bax 164. Port of Spain,
Trinidad & Tobago).
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Caribbean Family Planning Guide: A
Self-Instructional Manual for Health
Professionals. ed. by O'Neal E. Parris,
Petrona I. Lee Poy and Zoe Kopp. New
York, International Planned Paren-
thood Federation, Western Hemi-
sphere Region, 1990. XIV, 431p.
0-916683-24-9 US$25.00.
IPPF/WHR Inc., 902, Broadway, New
York, N.Y. 100 10 U.S.A.
Result of the combined effort of profes-
sionals from the Caribbean and the
USA this text is an attempt to meet the
training needs in family planning in
the region. According to Professor
Hugh H. Wynter who wrote a foreword
to the book This text, the first instruc-
tion manual in the delivery of family
planning services in the Caribbean,
will be of great value to nurses, medical
practitioners, nursing and medical
students and other allied health

Caribbean Rum Book, MacMillan,
Caribbean, 1985 (1990 rep).. 0-333-
39800-9 pbk. 40p. J$60.00
Creation Fire: A CAFRA Anthology of
Caribbean Women's Poetry, edited by
Rambal Espinet. Toronto, Sister
Vision, Tunapuna, CAFRA, 1990. 371
p. 0-920813-02x. US$20.00.
(Addresses: Sister Vision, Black
Women and Women of Colour Press.
P.O. Box 217, Station E. Toronto M6H
4E2, Canada:. CAFRA the Carib-
bean Association for Feminist Re-
search and Action. P.O. Bag 442,
Tunapuna, Trinidad & Tobago.
Poems from over 120 women writers
from Jamaica, Dominica, Trinidad &
Tobago, Belize, Suriname, St. Vincent
and the Grenadines, Martinique,
Grenada, US Virgin Islands, Guyana,
Curacao. Barbados, Brazil, St. Lucia.
Aruba, Bahamas, Cuba, Bermuda -
arranged in sections under headings:
The Seer, The Artist, The Mother, The
Lover, The Exile, The Mourner, The
Land, The Region. The Worker, The
Guerilla, The Survivor, and the Praise
Singer, includes brief biographical

notes on the poets and a glossary.

Development Strategies as Ideology:
Puerto Rico's Export-led Industrializa-
tion Experience. by Emilio Pantojas-
Garcia. Boulder and London. Lynne
Rienner and rio Piedras. Editorial de la
Universidad de Puerto Rico (EDUPR)
1990. XVI, 205p.
Rienner 1-55587-198-4 (from:
1800, 30th Street, Boulder, Colorado
8(301 USA or 3 Henrietta Street, Con-
vent Garden, London WC 2E England)
UDUPR-0-8477-0175-1 (from: Apar-
todo 23322, Estacion de la Univer-
sidad, Rio Piedras. Puerto Rico,

Early Bermuda Records 1619 1826:
A Guide to the Parish and Clergy
Registers with some Assessment Lists
and Petitions. Compiled by A.C. Hollis
Hallett. Pembroke. Bermuda. Juniper-
hill Pren, (1991) Xl, 443p (hard cover)
0-921192-04-1 US$75.00.
Address: Juniperhill Press. 4 Juniper
Hill Drive, Pembroke. HM 13. Ber-
Also available from same address: Ber-
muda Index 1784-1914 (An Index of
Births, Marriages, deaths as recorded
in Bermuda Newspapers). Compiled by
C.F.E. Hollis Hallett. 2 vols. 1584 p.
0-921992-00-9 US$95.00

Education and Society in the Common-
wealth Caribbean edited by Errol
Miller. Kingston, Jamaica, published
by ISER, UWI, Mona with assistance
from the Research Institute for the
Study of Man (RISM), New York. 1991.
976-40-0035-5 pbk, US$10.00. 272 p.

Ethnicity and Nationalism in Post-im-
perial Britain by Harry Goulbourne.
Comparitive ethnic and race relations
series, Cambridge University Press.
1991. 0-521-40084-8 hbk.

No. 2, November 1991


iii ~ :i
a, WV aj::~ :iI i ~ ~iFi
:i 'I1iij

3ij ii: I
f j i':''''ii
a3 ~1.1 rlI
11111 :~
"? ': f

No. 2, November 1991

Familiar Jamaican Birds by Anna
Black. Jamaica Information Service,

Food for Disaster Preparedness and
Recovery: A Household Guide. com-
piled and edited by Kenneth A. Leslie.
Kingston, National Food and Nutrition
Co-ordinating Committee of Jamaica
(NT-NCCJ) 1990. 72p 976-626-012-5
(pbk). Address: CFNI, P.O. Box 140,
Kingston 7, Jamaica.

Good Innings 1901-1990: The Life and
Times of Ray Edwin Dieffenthaller. by
Selwyn Ryan. Port of Spain, Mc-
Eneamey Alstons Ltd., 1990. xlv. 82p.
(Address: McEnearney Alstons Ltd., 3
Abercromby Street, Port of Spain,
Trinidad & Tobago).

Guinea's Other Suns: The African
Dynamic in Trinidad Culture, by
Maureen Warner-Lewis, Dover, Mas-
sachusetts, The Majority Press, 1991,
xxii, 208p.
0-912469-27-7, $9.95.

Hooked on Debt, compiled and edited
by Joan Ross-Frankson, Kingston, So-
cial Action Centre for Association of
Development Agencies in collaboration
with the Association of Caribbean
Economists and the Caribbean Con-
ference of Churches, 1991. 28p.



Theme The Book A
Bridge Of Friendship

Pacheco, President of
the Cuban Book In-
stitute, "The Fair's objec-
tive is to achieve alternatives in
cooperation, exchange, and trade
relations between Cuban publish-

How Far We Slaves Have Comel by
Fidel Castro and Nelson Mandela.
(Speeches at the July 26. Celebrations
in Cuba). New York, Pathfinder Press.
Sept. 1991. 72p. (hdc) 0-87348-497-5
US$25.00 (pbk) 0-87348-729-X
(Pathfinder Press., West Street, New
York NY 10014-USA)

In Defence of the People's Interest, by Ken-
neth C. Valley and Morris E. Marshall, Port
of Spain, UNO Advertising, 1990. 77p.
(Series of articles introduced as "a sam-
pling of the PNM's response by two of its
members" to measures implemented by
the present government of Trinidad and
Tobago. Foreword by Lenny K. Smith.
Chairman of the PNM.

ers and different book institu-
tions in other countries with
special emphasis, naturally, on
Spain and Latin America". In
July 1991, Pacheco stated that
15 countries had confirmed their
attendance, including Argentina,
Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Puerto
Rico, Germany, Holland, Egypt,
The Soviet Union, Australia,
North Korea, China, India and
Iran. Another 26 countries have
indicated their desire to par-

In Times. Like These, by Zee Edgell,
Oxford, Heinemann, 1991.

Jamaica's Relationship with the Inter-
national Monetary Fund. Prepared by
the Domestic Branch and Informa-
tion Services Department, the
Branch of Economic Programming
Division, Bank of Jamaica, Kingston,
1991, 15p. biblio. 976-8044-02-0
(Bank of Jamaica, Nethersole Place,
Kingston, Jamaica).
"A modified and updated version of
Section V of The Central Bank and the
Jamaican Economy, published by the
Bank of Jamaica in 1985, on the
occasion of its 25th Anniversary".

Live Thoughts: Meditations on Truth,
by Geoffrey Ramsay. Kingston,
Author, 1991, 61p.
(For information: United Cooperative
Printers Ltd., 3 Eureka Road, Kingston

Men at Risk, by Errol Miller, Kingston.
Jamaica Publishing House, 1991.
290p. J$90. 976-606-000-3.

Negotiating the Lome IV Convention, by
Ramesh F. Ramsaran, St. Augustine,
University of the West Indies, Institute
of International Relations, 1990, viz.
69p. (Occasional Paper No. 6). The
author was attached to the ACP
Secretariat during part of 1989).

Publishing for Development: The
Basics: report of the ADA/CARIPEDA
Intensive Course in Practical Publishing
for Development. Feb-Mar. 1989,
Kingston, Jamaica. Compiled and
edited by Joan Ross-Frankson,
Kingston, Association for Development
Agencies (ADA) 1990. 32p. ill.

Rastafari and Politics: Sixty Years of a
Developing Cultural Ideology. A Sociol-
ogy of Development Perspective.
Frankfleld, Jamaica, Black Interna-
tional Iyahbinghi Press, 1991, 408p.
9 76-8028-11-4 (J$440.00).
(Address: Frankfleld P.O., Clarendon,

Reaping Without Weeping: A Guide to
Safe Management and Application of
Chemicals in Agriculture. St Augustine,

riwbe-n j cview of Books Caribbean Review of Books Cadbbean Review of Books

ffiDWflGWJ Tff LB3 xD

CNIRD, 1991. 35p US$3 or equivalent
in the Caribbean, US$5.00 overseas
976-8001-68-2 (Address: Caribbean
Network for Integrated Rural Develop-
ment. CNIRD. 40 Eastern Mai n
Road, St. Augustine, Trinidad and

Rehabilitation or Death by Ras Herb.
St. George's Grenada, Anansi Publica-
tions, 1991, 68 p.

Report on Regional Consultation on
Educational Publishing, Kingston,
Jamaica, 28-30 May, 1991, organized
CARICOM Secretariat, (Georgetown,
CARICOM Secretariat, 1991) various

Review in Human Anatomy Series:
Neuroanatomy by Tik Lien The and
Tiong Gwan The. Kingston, T. G. The,
1991. 285p 97608091-05-3. (Address:
Dr. T. G. The, lb Braemar Avenue,
Kgn. 10, Jamaica)
Although in a revision text of MCQ's for
medical students this volume does not,
strictly, come within our definition of
Caribbean book, CRB takes note of it
as one of the very few instances where
such a book has been produced in the

Sports, Racism and Ethnicity ed by
Grant Jarvie. London, Falmer Press.
x,202 p. (hdc) 1-85000-916-3 (pbk) 1-
Two of the key issues discussed in this
collection are of special relevance to
the Caribbean. As phrased by the
editor these are "to what extent has the
West Indies" growing prowess in inter-
national cricket stimulated the rise of
nationalist and racial consciousness in
the Caribbean 'and' to what extent
have various cultural and sporting
traditions in the Caribbean been com-
prehensively creolized?" One of the
eight essays (pp. 7-29) is on 'Cricket.
Carnival and Street Culture in the
Caribbean' by Richard D. E. Barton.

The Islands and the Sea: Five Cen-
turies of Nature Writing from the
Caribbean. ed by John A. Murray.
New York. Oxford UniverstyPress 1991.
416pil 0-19-506677-4 (hdc) US$22.95.

The Law of Th7sts in the West Indies:
Cases and Cdmmentary, by Gilbert

Kodolinye, Cave Hill, UWI, Faculty of
Law Library. 1991. 165p. (pbk)
976-629-001-6. Faculty of Law
Library, University of the West Indies,
Cave Hill. Bridgetown, Barbados.

The Life and Thoughts of Tony
Johnstone. Tantallon, Nova Scotia,
Four East Publications, 1990, 283p.
(Publisher's address: Four East Publi-
cations, P.O. Box 29, Tantallon, Nova
Scotia, BOJ 3JO, Canada).
Two volumes consisting of two parts -
(1) a selection of writings by Dr. Tony
Johnstone, and (2) Tributes,
remembrances and photos from
friends and family was published to
commemorate the life of Dr. Paul
Anthony Johnstone who was born in
Kingston, Jamaica (3rd November

1931). He died in Halifax, Canada (5th
August, 1989). Bidglal Pachai, Execu-
tive Director of the Nova Scotia Human
Rights Commission ends his introduc-
tory note to the volume with the follow-
ing words: "Jamaica, which lived
multiculturalism, and Canada, which
codified multiculturalism, combined to
produce an intellectual colossus who
straddled both countries with humility
and left for both an enduring legacy".

The Pursuit of Honour: The Life and
Times of H.O.B. Wooding, by Selwyn
Ryan, St. Augustine, Institute of Social
and Economic Research, 1990. xxiv,
314p., ill. 976-618-009-1 (hdc), 976-
618-008-3 (pbk).

The Sublime and the Facetious (poems)
by Kay Polydore, (Dominica, Author).
1991. 56p. EC$12.00.

No. 2, November 1991

(Address: Kay Polydore, c/o Ministry of
Education & Sports, 2nd Floor.
Government Headquarters. Kennedy
Avenue, Roseau, Dominica).

The Water Bugs of Trinidad and
Tobago, by Mico Nieser and Mary
Alkins-Koo, St. Augustine. University
of the West Indies. Department of Zool-
ogy, il., 127p. (Occasional Paper No. 9).
(Address: Department of Zoology,
University of the West Indies. St.
Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago).

Towards West Indian Survival: An
Essay by William Demas. Occasional
Paper No. 1, The West Indian Commis-
sion Secretariat. Black Rock, Bar-
bados, 976-608-018-6, 1991, 74 p.

Travaux de recherche sur le creole
No. 4 --Functional categories in Creole
Genesis by Claire Lefebvre (The func-
tional Category AGR and Creole
Genesis) and John S. Lumsden (On the
Acquisition of Normal Structures in
the Genesis of Haitian Creole publish-
ed in April 1991)
No. 5 --Building the Lexicons of the
Haitian Project by Elizabeth Ritter (The
Lexicon as a Linguistic Tool) and John
S. Lumsden (The Locative Alterna-
tions) published May 1991
No. 6 -Etudes Lexicales: le vube FAIRE
en creole haitien et en fon by Danielle
Dumais (Les proprieties syntaxiganes
et lexicales du verbe fe en creole
haitien) and Juvenal Ndayiraglje (Blo
faire en fon). Published June 1991.

Trinidad and Tobago: Introduction and
Guide by Jeremy Taylor. Basingstoke.
Macmillan Caribbean, 1991. 160p ill.
0-333-55607-0 4.95 (Macmillan
Caribbean Guides Services).
Updated version of earlier title
Masquerade: The Visitors Guide to
Trinidad & Tobago.
Cooking with Caribbean Rums by
Laurel-Ann Morley. Basingstoke, Mac-
millan Caribbean, 1991. 80p. ill.
0-333-54558-3 6.95
West Indies in England: The Great Post-
War Tours, by John J. Figueroa, Lon-
don, The Kingswood Press, 1991.
225p. 0-413-64390-5./-14.99. .LoIn

Announced for late 1991
New in the Caribbean Writers Series.
published by Heinemann. It so Hap-
pens, by T"mothy Calender. Oxford.
continued on p. 25

No. 2, November 1991

Development' in Vol.10 no.2
(June 1961, pp. 113-127).
SES is regularly indexed and
abstracted in several internation-
al services including the P.A.I.S.
Bulletin, Social Sciences Index,
Hispanic American Periodicals
Index (HAPI) and Sociological
Abstracts. In the journal itself
abstracts of articles are included
in Spanish and French as well as
English. For the volumes publish-
ed up to 1977 SES has a cumula-
tive index arranged by author's
names and keywords. This index
was compiled by Reiv6 Robb
(Mona, ISER, 1980). Back issues
of SES are available on microfilm
from-Xerox University Microfilms.
The incumbent editor, Profes-
sor J.E. Green, the Director of
ISER, is assisted by four
Academic Editors, a Publications
Editor, and a fourteen member
Advisory Board.
When SES commenced
publishing four decades ago
there was very little serious sys-
tematic work to build up a
knowledge base for scholarly re-
search in the Social Sciences in
the Caribbean region. The work
of ISER and its scholarly journal
SES has filled this gap with a
high level of success, and SES
now leads its field in com-
municating the results of re-

search and reflection conducted
at a sophisticated level on social,
economic and political issues of
relevance to the Caribbean. A
good index to how SES has ful-
filled this role over the years can
be seen clearly in The Complete
Caribbeana 1900-1975: A Bibliog-
raphic Guide to the Scholarly
Literature (New York, Krans
Thompson, 1977) compiled by
Lambros Comitas. In this valu-
able bibliographical guide, in the
section 'Socio-economic Activities
and Institutions' (Chapters 41-
52, pp 1355-2015) citations to
work published in the SES (and
also to other publications from
ISER) are seen almost on every
page, and often more than once
on each page. If the frequency of
citation in The Complete Carib-
beana is indicative of the com-
parative value of journals in the
provision of source material for
the study of the Caribbean, there
is no question of the leading posi-
tion SES occupies as the indis-
pensable and foremost journal
for Caribbean socio-economic re-

New Periodicals

1, May 1991. Editor: Rosemarie
Heaven, one issue per year, free in
Jamaica, US$2.00 postage for re-
quests from elsewhere.
Address: 72 Hope Road, Kingston 6,

ACLALS Newsletter, No.1 October
ACLALS is the association for Com-
monwealth Literature & Language
Studies. In the words of the editor of
ACLALS Newsletter expects to help
keep members in touch with the news
of what is happening in Literature and
Language around the Commonwealth,
and to keep regions in touch with one
another more than they have been in
the past. "The earlier more substantial
publication of the Association the
ACLALS Bulletin has been discon-
tinued. The ACIALS Newsletter is
edited by Dr. V. L. Chang of the
Department of English, University of
the West Indies, Mona Campus,
Kingston 7, Jamaica and is published
by ACLALS c/o the Department of
English at the same address.

chaired by Mr. Mervyn Morris also to
be contacted at the same address and
its journal CARIB is available in its
current issue No.5 and focuses on The
Caribbean Poem' with articles on Ed-
ward Kamau Brathwaite, Lorna
Goodison and Derek Walcott. The next
issue of CARIB no.6 will focus on "West
Indian Literature in the Common-
wealth Context"

The Life Insurance Mirror: A Publication .....................................
of the Life Insurance Companies As-
sociation. Vol. 1 no.
&., *fWJlfc &* a. .l6l"M LJ jL llFU*KEJliM


the* f`stkbob5OOo~ Cote, nIv'%..-;
In ~ I~ato. NYj--

Bait~ 1 S.~s

i ca tl -1;:Inti-1..:
me A-J~liii?~~5.'j3rd!*~

.. ..i.e.n Mr .. Caribbean Review of Books Cbba Review of Books

ffiDwf P GW ff LB3DDW



Muslimeen, continued
day from office dealt a devastat-
ing body blow to a regime that
was already tottering from the
multiple crises of government
bankruptcy and economic reces-
sion. Panday's agitation therefore
added fuel to the flame of the
NAR house of power so that
anyone could have used the oc-
casion, including the military, to
intervene to save the country
from collapse. Elsewhere in the
Third World this would have hap-
pened. There was a deep vacuum
as Panday argued but to suggest
as he did that such a condition
could justify extra-legal anti-
government action must be
regarded as controversial at best.
Perhaps the most under-
estimated explanation (under-
estimated because many hostile
local analysts were eager to lynch
Robinson) pertained to the role of
the external factor. Ryan himself
was among the commentators
who initially depreciated this vari-
able. It was incredible that so
glaring a factor most starkly at-
tested to by the fact that practi-
cally all of Abu Bakr's arsenal
was assembled from overseas
was overlooked. It was also wide-
ly known that the top Muslimeen
leadership had intimate Middle
Eastern and American connec-
tions and that Abu Bakr and Bila
Abdullah travelled regularly to
Libya and other Middle Eastern
destinations. Early in the 1980s,
the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen had
openly sent a contingent of its
members to Libya for "education-
al" training. Despite all of this, in-
cluding the fact that the Jamaat
itself was originally implanted in
Trinidad as an offshoot of an
American Black Muslim group, it
was not until the US prosecutors
in Miami detailed the precise
movements of the Muslimeen
leadership to the US and the Mid-
dle East, their foreign bank ac-
counts with deposits traced to
the Middle East, that most doub-
ters began to assign a pivotal

No. 2, November 1991

place to the foreign factor. Ryan
in backing away from his initial
position did a fine job in his book
in recapitulating some of the in-
tricate connections into this
foreign labyrinth. But this was
obviously very incomplete. The
US and Trinidad authorities are
still to show their hand. The
court case in Trinidad which
should yield much data has hard-
ly begun. We can be sure that we
have only seen the tip of the
iceberg. In a visit to Trinidad in
September 1991, the US
prosecutors of the Muslimeen
gun procurers in Miami declared
that there was a foreign master-
mind to the insurrection. Who
were the paymasters of the Mus-
limeen? What was their agenda?
The conspiracy to overthrow the
Trinidad and Tobago government
was launched at the inception of
Abu Bakr's return from his
decade long absence from
Trinidad. Ryan reported on the
documents that the police dis-
covered showing that Abu Bakr
had hatched a plan to overthrow
the PNM government but was
biding his time. The Muslimeen
were literally building a state
within a state, had their own en-
forcement arm to implement
their will and terrorised a num-
ber of PNM ministers. Abu Bakr
had declared that he recognized
only the law of Islam presumably
funnelled to Trinidad through the
dollar medium from the Middle
East where the real deity resides.
Clearly, all of this means that in-
spiration for the insurrection
could not be traced to Robinson
and the NAR, however inept they
were. Abu Bakr had planned an
entire decade or more before 27
July 1990 to overthrow the
government. The economic data
of discontent and alienation so
facilely mobilised to justify the
subversion must always be
evaluated against these facts. I
do not believe that this disproves
that the Imam Abu Bakr, an

eight-time visitor to Mecca, was
not a devout Muslim. But it does
cast doubt in the indigenous
origins of the rebellion: it was too
coldly contrived and lacked the
spontaneity of the masses.
When all of this is said and
done, we must now return to
Ryan's central thesis that Abu
Bakr and his Muslimeen band
should be located "surely in the
tradition of rebellion and revolu-
tion that was born when the first
slaves were brought to Trinidad
and Tobago" (p.11). This is con-
troversial if not absurd. Con-
tinued Ryan: Bakr has to be seen
not as an accident or an aberra-
tiqn, but a successor to Daaga,
Sandy, Sookoo, Lennox Pierre,
Jim Barette, Marcus Garvey,
Uriah Butler, Adrian Cola Rienzi,
Eric Williams, Joe Young, Makan-
dal Daaga, Raffique Shah, Bas-
deo Panday, Rex La Salle, Gay
Harewood, George Weekes and
many others who opted for direct
action in their attempts to ad-
vance the movement for radical
social change (p. 1). Abu Bakr
himself claimed that he was only
a midwife (a bloody butcher some
would argue) who was cast in
this role by destiny. It was shock-
ing how many persons uncritical-
ly bought into this messianic (or
satanic) complex that had come
to devil the mind of the Imam.
Abu Bakr protests (too much?)
that he was enjoined by Allah to
remove the duly elected govern-
ment in an act of Jihad that cost
the lives of many innocent
people. For Ryan and others to
take this seriously and place Abu
Bakr next to Daaga, Marcus Gar-
vey, Eric Williams, etc., and the
long line of heroes who had dedi-
cated their lives selflessly to the
transcendental goals of liberation
- not for a plot of land at
Mucurapo Road is his-
toriographical sacrilege!
Ryan concludes his book with
a chapter that seeks to unravel
the Islamic theology of the insur-
continued overleaf

No. 2, November 1991

Muslimeen, continued
reaction. This chapter he will
regret writing. It is simply not
satisfactory to report on Quranic
quotes and counter-quotes in the
justification or condemnation of
the Muslimeen attack. To make
sense of this debate requires long
years of theological training and
reflection. Even then, often

theological debates still remain in
the cobwebs of sterility. Ryan
does provide some useful informa-
tion in other parts of the book on
the ecclesial relationship between
the Jamaat and the other Muslim
community in Trinidad. But it
was foolish for him, however well
intended, to be drawn into the

debate about Islamic righteous-
The current issue of Race and Class: A
Journal ofBlack and Third World Libera-
tion (Vol. 33, No. 2, Oct-Dec 1991) carries a
contribution (pp. 29-43) by Chris Searle on
"The Muslimeen Insurrection in
Trinidad". Race and Class, The Instiute of
Race Relations, 2-6 Leeke St, King's Cross
Rd, London WC1X 9HS, UK

Sonny Jim, continued
Another important theme of
the novel is that of sexuality. The
author deals fairly successfully
with two aspects of this theme,
the naivete and ignorance which
often surrounds the sexual act,
and the accepted sexual be-
haviour of males in the society
(p.192). Although Sonny Jim's
decision is probably the societally
correct one he marries his
pregnant girlfriend despite the
possibility that he may not have
sired the child this is one of
the few instances where the text
seems to run contrary to stand-
ard Caribbean practice. Similar-
ly, one wonders at, and may even
admire, the courage of a mother
who allows her male child to

sleep in the home of an "anti-
man", in exchange for the
benefits of electricity so neces-
sary to his academic pi ogress
One area to which the author
could have paid closer attention
was his use of language. The
adult voice the author uses for
important social commentary
sometimes causes a switch from
the authentic creole to more
standard English. Thus, when
his pet fowl is killed his, "How
could you" How could you kill my
Daisy?" is definitely not the lan-
guage of a child. This confusion
is also evident in the use of some
terms, e.g. father-in-law to mean
stepfather. Closer attention to

style, language and sentence
structure would have assured
easier reading and avoided some
Sonny Jim of Sandy Point has
allowed Jones-Hendrickson to ex-
press his genuine love for the is-
land of his birth. It provides
those of us of Caribbean heritage
with an opportunity to go back
and fetch our culture, an oppor-
tunity for which we are truly
grateful. We can therefore per-
haps forgive him for sometimes
forgetting us the readers as he
wanders away down memory
lane. After all, when our
memories do haunt us, they rare-
ly do so in an orderly sequence.

New Books, continued

Heinemann, 1991. 0-435-98926-x.
Between Two Worlds, by Simone
Schwartz-Bart, tr. by Barbara Bray.

Las Orquideas de Puerto Rico y las Islas
Virgones/ The Orchids of Puerto Rico
and the Virgin Island. by James David
Ackermann and Marcia del Castillo de
Mayda. San Juan, Puerto Rico,
Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto
Rico, 1991. (hdc) 0-8477-2342-9
Describes 143 species of orchids from
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Illustrated in full colour reproductions
of over 50 water colour.

Announced for earlyl992.
Black and British by David Bygott, Ox-
ford University Press, 1992. 80p. ill.

0-19-913314-X 9.95 A history of the
Afro-Caribbean Community in Britain.

Junkanoo: Festival of the Bahamas. by
Clement E. Bethel. ed. and expanded
by Nicolette Bethel. Ill. by Brent
Malone. Macmillan Caribbean, 1992.
104p. pbk. ill. 7.95 0-333-55469-8.

Black Women's Writing. ed. by Gina
Wisker. Basingstoke, Macmillan,
1992. 208p (hdc) 0-333-52252-4
35.00 (pbk) 0-333-52253-2 12.99.
Essays on Black women's writing from
Afro-American, African, British, and
Caribbean workers, Includes one chap-
ter by Bruce Woodcock on Caribbean
Women Poets

Economic Reform and Third World
Socialism: A Political Economy of Food

Policy in Poor-Revolutionary Societies.
by Peter Utting. Basingstoke, Macmil-
lan, 1992. 250p. (hdc) 0-333-55918-5
40.00 Cuba is one of the Countries
explained (others Mozambique, Viet-
nam and Nicaragua).

Jamaica: The Fairest Isle, A Visitor's
Guide by Philip Sherlock and Bar-
bara Preston. Basingstoke, Macmil-
lan Caribbean, 1992, 216p. ill. (pbk)
0-333-56438-3 6.95. (Macmillan
Caribbean Guides Series) Updated
Version of earlier publication. Keep-
ing Company with Jamaica.

ib: .... Review of.Bo.o: Caribbean Review of Books adbbea vew of books

BiYfl;DW o(ff BIcn3d

Jamaica Journal Index, continued

INTERVIEW continued
parts of the world in Lon-
don. I miss the varied cul-
tural activity in England.
The poetry readings espe-
cially. I wish there were
more fora in Jamaica to
read poetry, however
there are different types
of things happening here.
e9 This thing about poetry
being the poor cousin
needs to be changed. I'd
like to promote more ex-
changes between poets
from different Caribbean
CRB: There are various al-
lusions in your book to
the physical attributes of
black men. How have
people reacted to your
marrying a white man?
How have you dealt with
Elean: The attitudes have
been mixed. All those who
know him or have come
to know him love him and
understand why we're
together. We're two per-
sons of like mind irrespec-
tive of the difference in
colour and class. At the
same time colour does
matter in the present
time. This is the basis for
a second view which is
one of suspicion how
could this radical black
woman take up with a
white man? You know
Caryl Phillips is quite
right in his book The
European Tribe although
some critics gave him a
hard time. What Caryl ar-
gues is that they act as a
tribe against other people
and the mark of this tribe
is colour. They unite
across borders, look at
Fortress Europe develop-

ing, so I can't blame
people who ask questions.
All I can say is that I
believe and I experience
that this relationship is
founded in truth,
humanism, love and
honesty and it's between
me and this man. It don't
let white people off the
hook one tittle or jot until
more of them associate
themselves in practice
with the struggles and
aspirations of black
people and people of
colour. So it is not I who
have joined the ruling
class and ruling colour,
its my husband who has
reconfirmed his position
on the side of my people -
a position that he held
long before I met him and
together we stand in
humanity. It has been a
mutually developmental
relationship so far.
CRB: Finally, what does
the last room symbolize?
Elean: Everyone in their
lives comes to a last
room, or the last room,
some people go through
many last rooms in a
lifespan. The last room is
that point when your life
is in a situation for
whatever reason where
you must either find the
means to change it or be
destroyed not a dead
end, not a finish, not an
end, but a moment of
decision which must be
taken for life or death.
When you get to the last
room in your life you
have to look for the hand
reaching out to you, be-
cause you've exhausted
everything. You cannot
get out of the last room
by yourself.

sure that users will
find it very useful.
The index gives no
information about fu-
ture plans. However I
understand that the
intention is to
publish annual sup-
plements from now
on. I trust this infor-

nation is correct and
also that there are
plans for cumula-
tions. The index had
a long gestation
period, now that it is
delivered, let it grow
from strength to

No. 2, November 1991

CRB sells

books for


No. 2, Notember 1991

From Classroom Teaching to Writing Textbooks

riculum in the schools. A stand-
ard textbook ensures that
whatever method of delivery in-
dividual teachers choose in reach-
ing towards agreed objectives,
the access to factual knowledge
about the country no longer
depends solely on the industry or
whim of an individual teacher.
The text becomes a critically im-
portant resource for all students
to have an equal opportunity to
access basic information which
the community at large, and the
teachers in particular, believe to
be worthwhile for them to know.

The Problems

indeed, the use of teachers as
authors in the writing of so-
cial studies textbooks for
small Caribbean countries
leads to the identification of
numerous positive aspects. How-
ever, few endeavours are roses all
the way. There are of course
problems involved in using this
The teachers in small
countries are often one of the
problems. Most will have had
very little opportunity to ex-
perience the writing of a textbook
for it is a skill like any other that
improves with practice. The fact
that many of them teach writing

skills to their students often
blurs their perception of their
own skill in this area. The writ-
ing, editing, reviewing, rewriting
and refining of a textbook all
takes time and commitment
beyond that which most are able
to offer.
One way in which teachers
may be assisted in the produc-
tion of the textbook is the
provision of an editor/co-or-
dinator who is prepared to
rewrite and refine the text where
necessary. An editorial commit-
tee is also useful in this process
by providing input and expertise.
In addition, as has been stated
above, the community at large
can be tapped for detailed
knowledge and general comment.
Such a process of course brings
continued overleaf

S...:.an ..C.iew . 's Caribbean Review of Books Cban Review of Ioks

fBiofDWEw of! BiDlT

benefits, as already stated, but
also problems.
Everyone in his/her
opinion is an expert on
his own country.
Everyone has ideas about
what is important, necessary and
interesting for the students to
know: the more persons involved
in the process, the more
demands made for their points of
view. The question of balance be-
comes important; someone has to
make decisions and take the
responsibility for them while lis-
tening gratefully and thoughtfully
to all shades of opinion.
Too often members of the com-
munity are sceptical about the
ability of teacher-authors. It is
true that the initial book may not
be perfect although we all strive
for excellence. Is this a reason
not to attempt the task? If the
end product is less than was
hoped for, the learning experien-
ces gained in the production of
the textbook will stand in good
stead for both the authors and
the reviewers in the producing of
a second book.
Other resources such as time
and money often present
problems. Teachers like everyone
else fulfil many other roles during
the course of a day. Time is also
needed to research the assigned
topics and for checking the
points of detail thoroughly for in-
clusion in a printed textbook. If
teachers are writing during the
school day, what happens to
their classes? Can substitute
teachers be supplied or classes
doubled up to deal with their ab-
sence? Because teachers are nor-
mally such caring professionals,
many are reluctant to subject
their students to this kind of
treatment, but textbooks require

time if they are to be written well,
and they must be!
In some instances, principals
may be reluctant to release
teachers to work on the writing
project. The disruption caused by
the absence of regular teachers,
no matter how apparently mini-
mal its effect through efficient or-
ganization, is nevertheless an
important factor to be con-
sidered. Substitute teachers are
very often unfamiliar with the
classes assigned to them and re-
quire a period of adjustment to
achieve optimum effectiveness
and their use may be also be cost-
ly. The production of a textbook
is not inexpensive and a mini-
mum order will be required by
the publisher to begin produc-
tion. Such costs will have to be
carefully worked into the educa-
tion budget and the social studies
textbook co-ordinated with the
provision of texts in other core
subjects. Most small Caribbean
countries with their heavy
reliance on the tourist industry
weigh very carefully all necessary
capital costs, and a social studies
textbook, although desirable and
necessary, may not be considered
a priority.
With all of these problems to
be resolved, and the work of the
actual production of the textbook
to be completed, another problem
peculiar to small countries is ever
present. Once the community has
been made aware that the writing
project is underway, there is
often the expectation that the
results should be available imme-
diately. The pressure is unrelent-
These are some of the
problems and benefits of produc-
ing social studies textbooks using
teachers through writing

workshops as authors. The
problems Include practical con-
siderations such as money, time
and expertise. The benefits in-
clude intangible factors like self
esteem, national identity and
cross cultural co-operation. A
project such as the production of
a national textbook is within the
bounds of possibility for small
countries, possibly with the help
of UNESCO agencies and coopera-
tive publishers. Using the Mike
Morrissey method of week-long
writing workshops and classroom
practitioners to produce the
textbook and community resour-
ces to supply content and text
review, many of these more intan-
gible benefits can be achieved.
In addition, with the use of a
relevant social studies text in the
country's classrooms the benefits
in student learning across the
curriculum should be apparent.
Social studies is a good choice for
the initial effort of producing na-
tional textbooks. It has been
stated that social studies stu-
dents are Jacks of all trades, and
masters of none, however, the
borrowing of skills from many
content areas makes a social
studies textbook most ap-
propriate in this instance, not-
withstanding the immediate
relevance and interest to the stu-
dents of having a textbook
focused solely on their own
country, its geography, history,
economy, government, climate,
vegetation and ways of life.
In small Caribbean countries
the very fact of the community
coming together in the corporate
production of a textbook has a
significance that can transcend
the physical act of the writing
process in uncountable ways.

No. 2, November 1991

For a wide selection of books visit


Agent in Jamaica for:

S70B King Street, Kingston The Pavilion
Tel: 922-4056, 922-7845 Shopping Centre
SFAX:922-7848 Try Us First! Half Way Tree |
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Ca, pibean I'vI.ew of Boos ('Caribbean Review of Books C ban R vIew of Books

No. 2, November 1991

BGVEie(W Dff LBXcle

Health Review, continued
achievements were
outstanding, given
and gender
dynamics of the
period which
threatened to keep
coloured women in
subordinate roles.
With the use of the
Jamaican lodging
house tradition and
her nursing skills,
Seacole forged her
own niche as an in-
dependent woman.
This is a well-re-
searched and well-
written article and
Aleric should be con-
gratulated for her
contribution to a
aspect of Jamaican
The Journal ends
with three book
reviews Phillip
Curtin's, Death by

(Cambridge 1989);
Richard Sheridan's
Doctors and Slaves
(Cambridge 1985)
and Kenneth Kiple's
The Caribbean Slave
(Cambridge 1985)
all of which provide
more detailed infor-
mation on recent
books on some of
the topics covered in
the Journal.
In addition to the
specific information
in health, disease
and medicine, all
the articles provide
glimpses of the
broader slave and
societies in Jamaica.
As usual, the
Journal has been at-
tractively produced
with a very good
cover design. The
editor and the con-
tributors should.feel
very proud of this


YES, I would like a subscription to CRB!
/ production of a textbook hai
I significance that can transch
Name .......................................................... significance that can trance
uc- the physical act of the writiA
Address............................................................. sing process in uncountable ways

Profession .................................... .............
Amount Enclosed .........................................

No. 2, November 1991 30


Institute of Jamaica Publications Limited

For notable titles on Jamaica's history, art, science and culture

Jamaican Folk Tales and Oral Histories, Laura Tanna
Also available on audio and video cassette

Jamaica Surveyed, Barry Higman A comprehensive look at land
use in Jamaica in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Rebel Woman in the West Indies, Lucille Mathurin
From our Yard: Poetry Since Independence, Pamela Mordecai (ed.)
Natural History
Jamaica. A Geological Portrait, Anthony R D Porter The first
serious study of Jamaican geology for everyone.
Heritage Books
When Me Was A Boy, Charles Hyatt. Amusing reminiscences of his
boyhood in Kingston in the 1950s.
Stella Seh..., Barbara Gloudon. A compilation from the incisive
Stella columns which appeared in the Star and the Jamaica Daily News
in the 1970s.

2a Suthermere Road, Kingston 10. Telephone 92-94785-6. Fax: 92-68817.


31 No. 2, November 1991


New from ISER! Price US$

Caribbean Ecology and Economics

Central Banking in a Developing

Education and Society in the
Commonwealth Caribbean

Rethinking Development

Sir Arthur Lewis: An Economic &
Political Portrait

The Origins and Consequences of
Jamaica's Debt Crisis 1970-90

Norman Girvan &
David Simmons

Terrence Farrell

Errol Miller




Anderson/Stone & Witter 10.00

Ralph Premdas &
Eric St. Cyr

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Small Garden, Bitter Weed

George Beckford &
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The Myth of a Civilizing Mission:
British Colonialism and the Politics
of Symbolic Manipulation,
Working Paper # 31

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