What’s on Our Nightstands: Aart G. Broek’s “The Colour of My Island”

A 2010 edition of Aart G. Broek’s The Colour of My Island: Ideology and Writing in Papiamentu (Aruba, Bonaire & Curaçao), A Bird’s Eye View (Knipscheer, 2009) made its way to my mailbox recently. This slim but fascinating tome is informative and useful. As the title claims, it offers an overview of diverse aspects of literature written in Papiamentu, broaching themes such as oral tradition, Creolization, protest, and linguistic affirmation. It contains a very helpful section listing titles (with short descriptions) from the Dutch Caribbean that have been translated into English, including writers such as Astrid H. Roemer, Rita Rahman, Hugo Pos, Joan Leslie, Diana Lebacs, Carel de Haseth, and Edgar Cairo, among others.

Publisher’s description: “In the Dutch Caribbean—on the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao—an authentic Creole is spoken: Papiamentu. Ever since the days of the abolition of slavery in 1863 texts in this language have been published. Amongst these texts are stories and tales, poems, occasional verse, essays, novels, pamphlets, songs and dialogues for staging, that with an enthusiastic reception were or have been labelled as ‘literature’. These literary texts testify how the people looked at themselves and their fellow islanders of various ethnic groups, their defective past, emerging developments and promising ideals, at visiting outsiders, at the outside world in general, and their mother country, Holland, in particular. The Colour of My Island is a bird’s-eye view to acquaint yourself with those texts that are ever so many reflections of an innate diversity of strong sentiments and stark ideologies.”

For purchasing information, see http://www.selexyz.nl/product/9789062656486/aart-g-broek/the-colour-of-my-island/

Visit the author’s page at http://www.carilexis.nl/

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