A collection of Tony Deyal's weekly regional columns, Tony Deyal Was Last Seen, will be launched via Zoom on November 23 from 6-8 pm by the National Library and Information Systems (Nalis).
Deyal's weekly, regional Saturday column started in April 1993 in the Barbados Nation and continues to run in that paper as well as the Jamaica Gleaner. The column had a long stint in the Trinidad Express and Guyana's Kaieteur News as well as other regional and international newspapers. It can now be found in the Toronto Independent, Caribbean News Now and Caribbean News Global, said a media release.
Deyal said he started work with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in 1992 and his "beat" was the English-speaking Caribbean. When he moved to Belize as the public information and education specialist in a Caricom/World Bank project, Deyal had the same beat – what he calls his "beloved Caribbean," the release said.
The same thing happened when he became corporate secretary and communications specialist for the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). This is why he claims while he is a Trinidad and Tobago citizen, he is a Caribbean national and proud of it. He boasts that his first two children are Trini, his wife is Guyanese, his last two children are Bajan, his younger son has played cricket for the Leewards Under-17 team, and he has lived or worked in every English-speaking Caribbean country, the release said.
Having been convinced by Professor Emeritus Kenneth Ramchand that he should put his articles into a book, Deyal chose 76 (one for each year of his life so far) from the roughly 1,500 articles he has written over the 28 years. He made sure that there is at least one article on each of the English-speaking Caribbean countries and several more in the places he has lived or spent a lot of time in – Trinidad, Belize, Antigua, Barbados and Guyana.
The release points out that in his introduction to the book, Ramchand insists, "Tony Deyal is the most widely read columnist in the English-speaking Caribbean. Of the pure humorists I have read, only Mark Twain is in the same league as Tony Deyal...In all the islands Tony discovers and embraces the deep, structural commonalities, and the bold features on the surface that bind the peoples of the region in one Caribbean."
Commenting on his book and its launch in the release, Deyal said, "I wanted something different about the Caribbean, a book that proves we have more in common as a people than we have differences. I wanted to celebrate life in the region and show how we live and love it. I wanted people from outside the region to see us as we see ourselves."
Chairman of Royards Publishing Clifford Narinesingh says there has never been a Caribbean book like this one and that he, like Ramchand, sees it more than a collection of jokes.
"As someone who was an English teacher and whose company specialises in textbooks, I believe this book by Tony should be in the CXC syllabus, not only because of its topics and humour, but also for the quality of Tony's writing and mastery of the English language as well as his knowledge and love of the Caribbean," Narinesingh said in the release.