February 25, 2008

Grandpa Sydney’s Anancy Stories: Review in the Gleaner.

Geoffrey PhilpGrandpa Sydney’s Anancy Stories received a very good review in The Daily Gleaner (Sunday, February 17, 2008). The reviewer, Siobhan Morrison, praised the book’s “literary richness,” and the realism of the main characters: “The reality of the struggle most Jamaicans face trying to eke out a life in America and the important role the extended family plays in raising children come out in the book.”

I was especially pleased that the reviewer discerned one the main themes of the book: “Rather than resorting to a physical confrontation and unwilling to be seen as a 'tattletale', Jimmy turns to the cunning sheer ingenuity found in the Anancy stories, which his Grandpa Sydney reads to him every night.”

But I really liked this part:

There is richness to Philp's writing, and a literary mastery that allows him to fluidly interweave three stories within the confines of this rather thin book. In addition to the central story of Jimmy and the bully, Philp inserts the story of Anancy, Snake, and Tiger, which takes up all of chapter five. The character of Anancy is a key figure in Jamaican folklore and culture that can be traced back to our West African roots. The stories are usually passed on orally from generation to generation, very much in the same way Grandpa Sydney tells Jimmy the stories just as he had done with Jimmy's father. Known as a trickster, Anancy is not always a good character who does the right thing for children to emulate. However, in this case '... he did and that's what matters'. Children who read this book will be as entertained by Anancy as they are by Jimmy.

To read the entire review, please follow this link: Full of Lessons and Laughs


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Mad Bull said...

I read it too. Its nice to be recognised, nuh true :) Respect.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Give thanks, Mad Bull. It is good to be recognised.