The launch of Tales of Bed Sheets and Departure Lounges by Montague Kobbé, on April 30 in Anguilla, at The Valley Bistro, at 5 pm, introduces the author’s newest book to the Caribbean.
Kobbé, whose acute literary features appear regularly in The Daily Herald’s WEEKender supplement, is excited about “sharing with the people in Anguilla a different book to the last, where the focus is not on an Anguillian story but still there is creative material of interest to a local readership.”
Tales of Bed Sheets and Departure Lounges is a book of 50 micro stories about love and lust, travel and sleep. “Juancho Yrasquin [airport] is central to a couple of the stories. Many of them are not localized, and needn’t be, but were still written in Anguilla. Also on the plane between St. Lucia and London for instance,” said the author.
Kobbé is well traveled. The conventional tropes of his stories are “deliberately approached with awareness of the tradition and a dose of provocation, sending the reader on a dangerous path along the outer edges of the cliché, hanging by the thread of irony and humour over the abyss of the banal.” That’s how the UK-based Dog Horn Publishing described its newest book by an author steeped in the Caribbean, no matter how far he may wander.
Here’s another discovery, or another way of spreading stories throughout the region: the book is bilingual. The title in Spanish is Historias de camas y aeropuertos. The very layout of the text simultaneously highlights “the similarities (or lack thereof) between the two languages and the shortcomings of language in general to express reality in full,” concurred Kobbé. The ever-searching literary critic is also the constant blogger at Memo from La-La land (mtmkobbe.blogspot.com).
The first book by Kobbé, The Night of the Rambler (2013), a novel about 1960s Anguilla, promised that the writer would be back. Tales of Bed Sheets … makes good on that promise with a book in which sound (there’s a temptation to read the pieces aloud) and the short stories are boiled down to what the publisher called, the “most fundamental core: action.”
Montague Kobbé was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and over the past decade has resided in Bristol, Leeds, London, and Munich. His close ties to the Caribbean stem from his life and family ties of over 25 years in Anguilla. His writings have been published in Anguilla, St. Martin, Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, Venezuela, USA, Spain, and the United Kingdom.