There’s a wide selection of books from which to choose for the People’s Choice TT Book of the Year 2018, sponsored by Newsday.
It is the first time this competition is being held, and it is expected to become annual.
Today we highlight four of the 39 nominees for the award. The first is Harold Moylan for his book A Fiery Irishman.
Moylan received his early education in Trinidad, and after finishing school he was off to the University of Toronto, Canada, where he got a degree in political science and economics in 1964. He returned to Trinidad to take up a post as senior economist with the government, then in 1969-1970 he jetted off to Germany on a one-year scholarship awarded by the German Government to study industrial management.
His book takes a look at the life of a 19th-century Irishman, Edward Kyran Moylan, who left his home in Dublin, Ireland as a young lawyer and travelled to West Africa in 1873 to cover the Ashanti War as a special correspondent of the Times newspaper in London.
However, switching gears, he found himself in the West Indies for a magistrate position in St Vincent in 1874, then Attorney General of TT in 1877, before accepting a position as Attorney General of Grenada in 1880. But it was his move to Burma in 1885, once more as the special correspondent of the Times, covering the Third Anglo-Burmese War, which proved the most contentious of his overseas assignments.
The second nominee is Tevin Curtis Ryan Dubé for his Book of the Enlightened One.
Dubé has been described as one of those rare young individuals in life who rose to the occasion, conquering all odds and breaking down barriers and boundaries.
After losing his father at nine, he grew up in a single-parent home alongside his two younger brothers and mother.
He persevered and epitomised the term excellence after he graduated as the top CAPE Student and valedictorian in high school in 2010.
Dubé has already self-published three books in less than a two-year span, while his third book is set to be released this year.
He sees this third book as his groundbreaking work that will reveal more of his intellect, telling all who would listen: “Many will see my bold claims to having a mind unparalleled to the likes of Albert Einstein.”
Book Of The Enlightened One, he says, is all about the divine inheritance when you choose to effectively manage your own thought process, and is equipped to help you to take full control of your thoughts by mastering the greatest power known to man – the power of mind.
Celflux Issue No 3 by Everard and Dixie Ann Archer-McBain is the third nominee.
Everard is the creative director and CEO of GemGfx, a multidisciplinary design consultancy based in TT. He has been involved in graphic design for over 14 years, and is also the art director and co-author of the graphic novel Celflux, which he created with his wife Dixie Ann Archer-McBain.
Celflux is a superhero, sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventure, about Okira, a young, kind-hearted priestess who becomes the involuntary leader of a disjointed group of strangers. Though unprepared for the challenges she’s about to face, she’s determined to meet them head-on.
The fourth nominee is Jennifer Rahim for her Curfew Chronicles.
Rahim’s first collection of poems, Mothers Are Not the Only Linguists, was published in 1992, followed by Between the Fence and the Forest, Approaching Sabbaths, which won a Casa de las Américas Prize 2010, and most recently Ground Level. She also writes short fiction, and published the acclaimed Songster and other stories in 2007, and most recently, Curfew Chronicles in 2017.
Curfew Chronicles reflects the time when the TT government declared a state of emergency (SoE) and an overnight curfew in 2011. The SoE was brought to combat the crime and killings associated with the drugs trade. The book, which is one of two shortlisted for the overall Bocas prize, brings together the lives of two dozen characters whose lives intersect in mostly fortuitous ways. For more info: bocaslitfest.com