On Tuesday June 21 at 6pm, Bookophilia is hosting celebrated poet and author, Jacqueline Bishop, as she reads from her collection of poems Snapshots from Istanbul, and her novel The River’s Song.
At the heart of the collection Snapshots from Istanbul, is a sequence of powerfully sensuous poems about a doomed relationship in Istanbul, touching in its honesty and, as in the best poems about other places, vivid in its portrayal of the otherness, highly conscious of the layers of difference, and aware that the poems’ true subject is the uprooted self. Here, inevitably, Bishop is forced to think about her ‘Americanness’ and her ‘Jamaicanness’ in different ways.
Sensual, honest, often humorous, and as intimate as a confession, the poems illuminate the struggle for self-definition and the journey of an exile.
Weaving multiple narratives together, this work focuses on the The engaging coming-of-age novel The River’s Song, looks identity. delicate relationship between place and at idyllic Jamaican girlhood and both the alienating and transforming experience of winning a scholarship to the most prestigious girls’ boarding school on the island. A-typical of Caribbean literature because of its description of a young girl’s sexual awakening, the novel offers poetic descriptions of rural and urban Jamaica and delightful characterizations of warm and lively women, including the narrator’s mother, grandmother, and neighbours.
The novel’s strengths lie in the pace, economy and shapeliness of its page-turning narrative; in its poetic descriptions of urban and rural Jamaica; and in the quality of its characterisation and the dramatisation of Gloria’s relationship with her mother, grandmother and the girls she has always known in her grandmother’s rural village.