Anancy at Florida International University

AnancyAnancy weaved his magic at the National Achievers Society's closing ceremony at Florida International University on Saturday, October 13, 2007. At this event, I was able to give my full presentation with PowerPoint, realia, and activity sheets. The students, roughly from fifth through tenth grade, responded well to the Q& A and the reading from Grandpa Sydney's Anancy Stories.

I had a similar experience to the reading at South Miami Heights Elementary when the children asked interesting questions such as, "Do you base your characters on real people?" I told them that even when I begin with the name of a real person--in this case the name of my father, Sydney Philp--once I altered one fact about the real person, then everything else changed. For example, Grandpa Sydney Anancy Stories is set in Miami, a place where my father told me he would never live.

They also asked, "Is this the first time that you've written about Anansi?" And I explained that in my first novel, Benjamin, my son, I used the name of the Haitian Trickster, Papa Legba, who comes from the Yoruba tradition in the form of Eshu, as the name for the mentor of the main character, Benjamin. I've also used tricksters in my short story collection, Uncle Obadiah and the Alien. So, in a way, I've been writing about Anancy all my life.

Give thanks to the organizers and Sherian Demetrius for arranging the reading. I'm looking forward to many more events like this.

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For more photos of the event, please follow this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51858402@N00/sets/72157602419752195/

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