Atlanta, Georgia was the second stop on Dr. Reynolds international book tour, which was part of the St. Lucia Association of Georgia’s 2017 Jounen Kweyol celebration, as such it was an afternoon and evening of children sac races, quadrille and other folk dance performances, creole dishes, performance by Gozilay, and a DJ keeping the session jumping with soca, calypso, folk, cadence, and Kuduro.
The author was struck by the notion that the St. Lucian cultural space doesn’t end with the island’s physical boundary but expands across Europe and North America, the world even, though more concentrated in cities like New York, Miami, Toronto, London, Atlanta.
This is something that Che Campeche, carnival revelers and musicians, particularly soca artiste, have understood very well, but of which St. Lucian writers may not be giving sufficient consideration. Hence with his international book tour, Dr. Reynolds is hoping for St. Lucian writers to realize this expanded cultural space and market for their literary output.
The author was also struck by the notion that the value of the islands cultural output has implications beyond its shores, because it is this cultural output, this national cultural expression, that is feeding and keeping alive St. Lucian culture beyond its shores. For example, carnival and Jounen Kweyol activities in the diaspora are patterned after what take place in St. Lucia, and it is the music generated in St. Lucia and in other Caribbean countries that fuels these festivities, providing an example of how culture travels and spreads and thrives thousands of miles from its original source.
However, what stands out most for the author in Atlanta were the twin sisters who were so taken up with the author and his books, that not only did they take a ton of pictures, but bottled one of the photos in a mug. In addition, the author was pleasantly surprised to meet Minister Lenard Montoute and Dr. Earl Long at the function. Dr. Long is a world renown parasitologist who has authored four novels—Consolation, Voices from a Drum, Leaves in a River, and Slicer—probably the most by any St. Lucian.
As word of Dr. Reynolds’ book tour gets around, other cities are requesting stops. So, for example, the author’s tour will be extended to Hartford, Connecticut, third week of November, on the heels of his London stop.
This coming weekend Dr. Reynolds will be making three book signing stops at New York Jounen Kweyol events, including that of the St. Lucian American Progressive Association on Saturday, the St. Lucia Cultural Organization church service and brunch on Sunday morning and that of the St. Lucia House Foundation on Sunday afternoon.
The author will be donating 50 percent of book sale proceeds generated at the St. Lucia House Foundation event to the Dominica relief effort.