February 27, 2008

Uncle Obadiah and the Alien: Back on the Block

Geoffrey PhilpPeepal Tree Press, my publisher, received a rather large order from Trinidad, of which Uncle Obadiah and the Alien was a part--hence the new look for the cover. Uncle Obadiah was my first book of short stories and as the publisher notes, "Philp's Uncle Obadiah and the Alien very consciously takes a wide variety of short story forms (sci-fi, the Jamaican tall-tale, and the social realist story) and moods (comic, protesting, erotic, tragic) and mixes the whole like the diverse track list of a Peter Tosh album."

Here's what some others have had to say:

Robert Antoni : "If Dickens were reincarnated as a Jamaican Rastaman, he would write stories as hilarious and humane as these." Uncle Obadiah" and the other stories collected here announce Geoffrey Philp as a direct descendent of Bob Marley: poet, philosophizer, spokesperson for our next new world."

John Dufresne: "Geoffrey Philp is a literary shaman, an enchanter, a weaver of spells that reveal unexpected and marvelous things about life, that carry the news of island culture to the mainland. From the first word of the first story in this comic and touching collection, Philp lifts me out of my world and drops me into the world of his charming, beleaguered and compelling characters. Uncle Obadiah and the Alien is one of those rare treasures, a book you can't put down and won't ever forget."

Norval Edwards : "Geoffrey Philp's writing combines a poetic sensibility with finely honed narrative skills that draw on a multitude of resources: literary and oral traditions, rasta and ragamuffin flavours, science fiction and Jamaican tall tales. Philp blends them all with humour, wisdom and craft."

Preston Allen: "We have always known that Mr. Philp is in a class by himself as a poet, but now he has taken on the mantle of short story writer as well. This collection is not to be missed. The great stories in this book are important because they take us into rarely traversed ground: the experience of the Jamaican immigrant back home on the island and in the new Babylon of America. As a Caribbean immigrant myself, I have often longed for a book that is our version of The Grapes Of Wrath or The Joy Luck Club, one that tells our story with wit, intelligence, and without apology. Uncle Obadiah is it. You will be transported."

After eleven years since its first publication, I'm happy that Uncle Obadiah is still out there and being appreciated.

Give thanks, my Trini sistren and brethren.


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