A report by Kimoy Leon Sing for Trinidad’s Express.
Local author and prolific writer, Michael Anthony’s novel Green Days by the River will be made into film and released later this year.
This was revealed at the launch of the One Book, One Community (OBOC) nationwide reading project at the National Library in Port of Spain recently.
The film which is directed and produced by Michael Mooleedhar and Christian James as a wonderful coming of age drama is set in Trinidad. With the aim to produce successful, classic Caribbean film that will entertain “world” cinema audiences, and Caribbean film and literary markets, they are set to capture the legacy of our history and culture that can be viewed and studied over the years.
The book, which was also selected by the National Library OBOC nationwide reading project will be featured for several weeks, and as such, public and special libraries will host various activities until August 25.
“As part of the OBOC activity, some libraries have mounted displays on the life work of Michael Anthony. These displays include biographies as well as his other works. The Heritage Library in Port of Spain has mounted a display on scenes from the book, Green Days by the River. Primarily, this year’s OBOC is to encourage persons to read, Green Days by the River” said, Debbie Goodman, manager of Corporate Communications of Nalis.
Goodman noted, when it came to the process of selecting a book to be featured, it was not left up to one person but a committee of librarians who reviewed several books from local authors.
Promoting reading habit
Goodman said, “Nalis promotes the reading habit and is concerned with maintaining, developing and making easily accessible to members of the public a comprehensive collection of material and information, with particular emphasis on that produced within and about Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.”
Books are selected based on a number of criteria including: wide audience appeal and that issues covered in the book are relevant and topical to today’s society, to name a few.
Neil Parsanlal, chairman of the board of Nalis who also spoke at the launch said he was delighted the reading project resumed after a four-year hiatus. He said the project is intended to promote the reading habit, bring persons together to read the same book and participate in a number of activities at public, school and special libraries across the country. He urged everyone to visit a public library to borrow the book.
At the launch, Anthony expressed his appreciation to Nalis for selecting his book Green Days by the River, which was first published 50 years ago. Additionally, Anthony said that he was pleased that a film based on the book will be released in September.
Goodman, who described it as a celebration of Anthony’s work, sought to emphasise the importance of reading.
Reading with punishment
She said, “The more we can do to encourage everyone to read, the better. Everyone knows that reading opens up worlds and sparks imagines. Reading must be a joy as opposed to a punishment. As a society we have to stop sending children to the naughty corner to read or in some schools, to the library when they misbehave. The association – reading with punishment, leaves an indelible mark on their psyche.”
The July/August vacation is right around the corner, and while many of you will encourage your children to explore the great outdoors, there are also fun things you can do indoors too. Parents, you might want to consider giving them a special gift that will not only entertain and educate regardless of age, but will also bring your family closer together — the gift of reading.
Most parents will agree that reading with your child is one of the most important things you can do as a parent because you will be providing your children with the opportunity to become better and more confident readers as they grow.
“The response to the OBOC nationwide reading project has been tremendous. Persons are usually anxious to borrow the selected book and participate in activities. Since the inception of the project in 2005, the dramatisations, dramatic readings, tours to locations identified in the books and other such programmes have been well attended,” Goodman said.
“Through this nationwide reading project, Nalis hopes to encourage the reading habit, create a love and appreciation for local literature, build a sense of self and national pride by featuring a book of an author from Trinidad and Tobago and promote libraries as dynamic spaces where everyone can enjoy wholesome activities,” she said.
For participating in the bmobile online OBOC Trivia and OBOC activities at libraries, members of the public can win phones courtesy Bmobile, and copies of the book courtesy bpTT.
To find out about the One Book, One Community Reading Project schedule of activities visit Nalis’ website at http://www.nalis.gov.tt.
Previous books selected by Nalis:
Night Calypso by Lawrence Scott – 2005
Miguel Street by VS Naipaul – 2007
The Schoolmaster by Earl Lovelace – 2008
All That Glitters by Michael Anthony (D.Ltt) – 2009
Prospero’s Daughter by Dr Elizabeth Nunez – 2010
Trinidad Noir edited by Jeanne Mason and Lisa Allen Agostini – 2011
The Stolen Casadura by Beverly Ann Scott – 2012