Orange, indigo, pink, green

by Nicholas Laughlin on September 7, 2010

The current issue of the CRB — September 2010 — begins publication today (and will continue for the next seven weeks, with new reviews and other pieces appearing every Tuesday). We open with reviews of two recent books of fiction — Melissa Richards on Anton Nimblett’s short story collection Sections of an Orange, and Robert Edison Sandiford on Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo — and the first review from our special section on recent Caribbean film, Andre Bagoo on Patricia Mohammed’s Coolie Pink and Green. (As I announced yesterday, this section is supported by the trinidad+tobago film festival 2010.)

What these books and this short film have in common — apart from references to colours in their respective titles — is a concern with how the threads of the past interlace with contemporary Caribbean realities. Sections of an Orange, in the words of its reviewer, explores “new definitions of Caribbean masculinity” against older versions of tolerance and accommodation. Redemption in Indigo considers new directions for Caribbean writing inspired by traditional folklore and elements of speculative fiction, “to the literature’s great benefit.” And Coolie Pink and Green is a meditation on the survival and evolution of Indian culture in Trinidad, from nineteenth-century indentureship to the present. As Bagoo writes:

There are related questions: should we preserve culture? Whose responsibility is this? Is change in a cultural practice really its demise? These are the issues the descendents of everyone brought to the Caribbean — not just Indo-Trinidadians — have to grapple with.

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