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Barbados Books

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Looking for a good book to read while you’re traveling in Barbados? Check out my list of books about Barbados and by Barbadian authors.


The Polished Hoe

Austin Clarke
CATEGORIES: Sense of Culture

In 1950s Barbados, Miss Mary Gertrude Matilda Paul confesses a crime. The novel that follows spans just 24 hours but in that time manages to encapsulate the country’s history of slavery. With this, his tenth book, the Barbadian-born author said that he “intended to ‘creolize Oxford English.'” The result is a novel that garnered numerous awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Canada (his adoptive country) and the Caribbean region and the Trillium Book Award.



Song of Night

Glenville Lovell
CATEGORIES: Sense of Culture

From A Year of Reading the World: “Lovell’s second novel unpicks the aftermath of a crime of passion from the perspective of the killer’s daughter. Ostracized by her small community of Bottom Rock, Cyan, or ‘Night,’ must draw on her own resourcefulness and tenacity to survive. But in a society eroded by the tides of rich tourists that sweep through it, it’s difficult for a lone young woman to fend for herself without surrendering much of her pride and identity. For all its tough subject matter — murder, prostitution, arson, drug use, domestic abuse, abortion, and rape all have a part to play in the narrative — this is an extraordinarily beautiful book… In many ways, this is a book about the relation of Barbados to other nations and in particular the U.S. After decades of independence from British rule, the island seems to be sinking under another more insidious form of colonialism.”

(Recommended by Ann Morgan, author and TED speaker)



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