Barbados Caribbean Travel Literature starts at home and many scholars, poets, authors, and artists live in Barbados. They include George lamming, Kamau Brathwait, Tom Clarke, Timothy Callender, Jeanette Layne-Clarke, Martin Carter, and new authors like Anthony Kellman.
They are literate authors who write to tell the story of time and inevitably to bring context to the world. Literature strives to explain and shed light on the issue of the day. In the Caribbean, the issues have revolved around race and culture, Slavery, and Colonialism. In the post-colonial era, identity is key. Barbadians have struggled with an Afro-British duality in the face of a rising Bajan identity.
Rogues in Paradise explore issues of identity and heritage, starting with ordinary everyday Bajans at work and play. Their wit and wisdom and joy of life abounds in the pages about character. It is a theme that George Lamming articulates with clarity. Local author and historian Hilary Beckles is one of the most prolific Bajan authors, with books on the history of Barbados to the story Rihanna. His work is deep and questioning, pointing out the excesses of the past with titles like ‘Britain’s Black Debt’ and ‘Saving Souls’.
On My Barbados Book Publishing Journey, I differentiate. Rogues in Paradise, by writing a literary account of The Untold real Story of Barbados. It is different because it carries the voice of ordinary people who are the unsung heroes of tourism. It is because of its style and its insight into history. It is different in its goals and objectives. It is different in its use of technology, such as the book’s interactive map, mapping chapters, people, place, and history to clickable locations.
International Authors Feature Barbados
Books about Barbados are finding their way to bookshelves everywhere. Increasingly international authors are writing about the island or staging novels based on the people, places, and history of the island. It is featured today in popular fiction, such as Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, on the international stage. Travel books are not often included in literature class, but literate travel books carry a message about humanity that counts. ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and ‘under a Tuscan Sun’ to name a few. So far, few international best-sellers authors write about Barbados.
For my proposal to one literary agent, I wrote the following comparisons to provide a frame for the book’s position and sales potential.
“Think Flaneuse meets Washington Black. Like Flaneuse, Rogues weaves together people, place, and history. At the same time, Washinton Black reveals the genius of a young man freed from Barbados slavery. The mystery is how descendants of Barbados enslaved people emerged with such character. The book ties this together with first-hand tales and insights from historical accounts. The story is sprinkled with gentle and inclusive humour, that resembles some of Bill Bryson’s works like Notes from a small island.”
International Travel Literature
Rogues is a provocative, true story of Barbados. It is not a travel story, but editors and beta readers said they are going to Barbados because of it. After reading rogues, those who have visited were delighted to have read and understood the island and its people.
I struggled with the genre for some time, but it became apparent when I joined a writer’s blob and discussed it with successful authors. The genre I thought was travel was squashed as soon as I explained the concept.
It is not a travelogue or a memoir. It does not work well in travel alone as it’s not a journey, explaining things to do and places to visit. To find the right genre, I looked at all the books that had similarities and tracked down their literary agents. Narrative nonfiction – race, and culture were what they were looking for, and that was where I fit.
- Rogues Adventures – Rex Wotton
- African Slavery & Afro-Bajan Heritage
- Discovering Bajan Roots with DNA
- Tracking African Roots of Barbados People
- History of Barbados People & The Black Experience in Canada
- The People of Barbados – Bajan Barbadian Demographics
- An Island Stands Apart in People & Geology
- Writing the Real Story of Barbados
- What Does Rogue Mean: A Historical Respective
- Barbados Caribbean Travel Literature