Last week between annual reports, I visited the venerable Maud and found an interesting site, Field Tested Books, which was started on a simple premise: “The Field-Tested Books project is our version of the Heisenberg principle: reading a certain book in a certain place uniquely affects a person's experience with both. The writing you'll find here is grounded in that idea. You won't find any book reviews here. You'll find reviews of experience.”
And I thought, hmmm, maybe I should start some thing like that here. We’ll run it from June 1, 2006 to November 30, 2006 (Hurricane season).
My only stipulations are (1) the book you write about must be written by a Caribbean author, and (2) you must be honest. Please, don’t have your agent/relative/ student/ publicist/wife/mistress/boy toy write about your book, and say that you are the greatest poet since Aimé Césaire, or you used to give Jean Rhys pointers. And teachers, please don’t give this as an assignment to your students. If you really want to give them some work, have them research and submit entries (that meet their criteria) for Wikipedia about Caribbean writers. And to make this completely above board, none of my relatives/ students/ wives/ mistresses/ boy toys? (how the hell did that get in there?) can write about my novels or short stories. Not even for extra credit. No.
It’s not a book review. It’s a narrative about your encounter with a book by a Caribbean writer, “a review of experience.” Write one and I’ll put it up on the site. Send the submissions as an attachment to ephilp (at) mdc.edu and in the subject line, Books I’ve Loved.
Here are a few examples:
Jason Santa Maria
PS. There is a great piece on cricket @ Field Tested Books: How to Explain the Rules of Cricket.
Books & Reading
This is a great challenge. I think that I want to give it a try. I know that music has that affect, but when I think about it books do as well. I'm going to print your post so that I fully understand the stipulations.
But what if you're the greatest poet since Aimé Césaire, or did give Jean Rhys pointers????
Then, I guess, you would have reached suc a state of Zen like enlightenment that only a blank page would do
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