July 7, 2008

Peepal Tree Press: Caribbean Modern Classics

Great News from Peepal Tree Press!

Over the next three or four years Peepal Tree Press plans to publish at least 60 titles of Modern Caribbean Classics, including Children of Sisyphus.

Anyone looking for important Caribbean novels on Amazon will know that much of the writing published from the 1950s through to the 1980s is out of print. They will also know that these are books in demand, if the evidence of some of the wildly inflated prices of second-hand copies is to be believed.
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FSJL said...

I remember reading Children of Sisyphus in the original Writers & Readers edition in 1971, when I was a 15-year-old high school student. It was being passed from hand to hand, since it was illegal to possess it.

The next year, of course, it was printed legally in Jamaica (yes, Joshua, yes!) and a copy arrived at our school library. The librarian wanted to exclude it, on the grounds that it contained 'bad wud' (since when do Jamaicans say 'rassclate'?). I was on the school library committee and persuaded her -- she was a Seventh-Day Adventist, so this took some doing -- to read it and see that it was a worthy book. She did, and, miracle of miracles, she agreed.

Geoffrey Philp said...

I forget when I first read Children, and yeah, "rassclate" did seem odd. But, hey, it was one of the first, so you gotta give the man his props for daring to use language that defied our Victorian sensibilities. We can be so conservative...

It reminds me of a time I was berated in Jamaica because Benjamin, my son begins with the word, "Bumbo."

And it was no use protesting in George Carlin style that there were no "bad words" just "bad intentions," the woman who was cussing me just wouldn't listen.

FSJL said...

Some people won't listen, alas. My concern is more about how to write the word (raasclaat), than it's 'badness' or otherwise.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Let's hope the new edition corrects that.