“A genuine teacher” and “a champion of the students” were two of many ways Chaguanas North Secondary principal Premlal Seecharan was described by students, administrators and family, following his
You are here
White girls rock Caribbean culture
Monique Roffey, the primum mobile of this column, is not a girl, she’s a woman, I just couldn’t resist the headline. Literary punters would know her novel Archipelago, won the OCM Bocas prize last year. Of her earlier novel, White Woman on a Green Bicycle, I’ve made disapproving comments in this space, but she and the book did pretty well notwithstanding—shortlisted for the Orange Prize and all that.
In July Ms Roffey published a blog post for Waterstones (the UK bookseller), titled The New Wave of Caribbean Writers. A subsequent article by Matthew Hunte, summarising the responses to it, was published by Global Voices Online. It was titled: Why some Caribbean authors are accusing Trinidad-born novelist Monique Roffey of being a “Latter-day Columbus.”
Ms Roffey was accused of being the “British correspondent for the region,” and “discovering” it, redundantly and naively. My Facebook-savvy informants report that exchanges got quite nasty, but have subsided. But through the smog, the outlines of a couple of persistent issues are visible: what is “Caribbean?” Who has more right(s) than whom to re/present it? And why attack Ms Roffey, who is well-intentioned, and who was born here, for a single blog post?