Roydon Salick’s Mayaro Gold: The Fiction of Michael Anthony was published this month by Ian Randle Publishers. It is one of the books presented this year at the Bocas Lit Fest, taking place from April 28 to 30, in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Ken Ramchand describes the book as an “introductory study [that] understands well enough the combined force of the fictions and the social, cultural, and historical works in which Anthony builds a unique history of Trinidadian cultures and historic moments. It invites new readers to take a serious look at Michael Anthony as an educator who makes it exciting to find out who we are.”
Description: The absence of a full-length study of the fiction of Michael Anthony is a lamentable gap in West Indian Literary criticism. Roydon Salick sets out to correct this lacuna in a balanced study of 15 of Anthony’s works of fiction, in which he assesses the strengths and weaknesses of this writer of tales, short stories, and novels.
The author makes a convincing case for Anthony as an important populist writer whose works are written with the average reader in mind through simple plots, a lucid style, and uncomplicated narrative techniques. For Salick, Anthony’s real strength as a writer lies, not in his ability to fashion absorbing plots but in his ability to depict memorable characters and create a sense of place. He may not have produced anything as great as A House for Mr Biswas or as trend-setting as A Brighter Sun, but any writer whose work so memorably puts the town of San Fernando or the village of Mayaro on the literary map, so successfully marries island history and fiction, so tellingly depicts so many facets of Trinidadian culture and so movingly explores the world of adolescence, is one who must be taken seriously, pedestalled and cherished.
Roydon Salick has published articles on William Wordsworth, Mervyn Morris, Lionel Hutchinson, Sonny Ladoo, and other West Indian writers. He has edited The Poems of Sam Selvon (2012) and is the author of The Novels of Samuel Selvon (2001), Samuel Selvon (2013), and Ismith Khan: The Man and His Works (2012).
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