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V.S. Naipaul dies, aged 85

Trinidadian fiction-writer and essayist Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad (V.S.) Naipaul died on August 11, 2018, in London, at 85 years of age. Naipaul was born in Chaguanas, Trinidad, in 1932; he attended Queen’s College in Trinidad and went to Oxford University in 1950, settling in England from that point onwards. His extensive literary production attracted many accolades – including the Nobel Prize in 2001 – and much critique.

Some of the many obituaries and retrospectives on Naipaul’s career appear here:

Kenneth Ramchand in the Guardian (U.K.)

Kei Miller in the Jamaica Gleaner

Joel Julian in the Trinidad Guardian

The Irish Times

Meena Kandasamy in Time magazine (U.S.)

BBC news (U.K.)

The New York Times




First annual Raritan book prize

from the editors of Raritan:

The Editors of Raritan in collaboration with Rutgers University Press invite submissions for the first annual Raritan Book Prize.

Introduction: In the current frenzied media climate, there’s greater need than ever for thoughtful, independent writing that takes the time to cultivate care and grace. Raritan has provided a forum for that kind of writing for thirty-seven years. A wide-ranging journal of literary and cultural criticism, Raritan offers writers and readers the opportunity for sustained reflection and aesthetic pleasure, uncluttered by academic jargon. Submissions to the Raritan Book Prize competition should reflect Raritan’s commitment to enlarging the life of the mind through reasoned argument and interpretation, and to reaching a well-read but nonspecialist audience.

Subject: Any nonfiction subject in the realms of history, politics, literature, or the arts.

Prize: A $1,000 advance and publication by Rutgers University Press under the Raritan imprint.
(All those who submit a manuscript will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to Raritan.)

Submission fee: $25

Submission period: 1 September 2018 through 1 November 2018.

Click here for more details.

Rosamond S. King wins a Lammy

Rosamond S. King has won a 2018 “Lammy” – a Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ literature – for her poetry collection Rock | Salt | Stone (Nightboat Books). The awards were presented in New York City on June 4, 2018.

The Lambda announcement on the awards event and other winners is here.

Kevin Jared Hosein wins second Commonwealth Writers short story prize

For the second time in three years, Trinbagonian author Kevin Jared Hosein has won a Commonwealth Writers Short Story prize for the Caribbean region. The title of Hosein’s winning story is “Passage.” He first won the prize in 2015 for his story “The King of Settlement 4.”

Hosein is also the author of two novels and a children’s book; his novel The Repenters was longlisted for the 2017 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.

More details here.

Caribbean Literary Heritage “Ten Questions” for Caribbean Writers

The UK-based Caribbean Literary Heritage project is steadily building its archive of “Ten Questions” interviews, in which Caribbean authors submit responses to a standard set of questions on Caribbean literature and their own reading and writing histories. Entries posted to date include responses by Karen Lord, Sharon Millar, Merle Collins, Caryl Phillips, Thomas Glave, Lawrence Scott, Tessa McWatt, Rosamond S. King, Monique Roffey, John Robert Lee, Pamela Mordecai, Kevin Jared Hossein, Geoffrey Philp, Joanne C. Hillhouse, and Shara McCallum.

Find the project here.

CJE cfp – “Poetry Beyond Borders”

The editors of the Caribbean Journal of Education invite submissions for a special issue entitled “Poetry Beyond Borders,” to be guest-edited by Dr. Aisha Spencer (UWI), Dr. Schontal Moore (UWI), and Dr. Georgie Horrell (U of Cambridge). The issue is slated to appear in June 2019.

Abstracts (no longer than 250 words) should be submitted by September 3, 2018 to For more details, click on the image below.


Charles Carnegie’s Kingston essays in Public Opinion

Charles Carnegie, professor of anthropology at Bates College (Maine, USA), is publishing a series of essays on Kingston on the online magazine Public Opinion. An elegant amalgam of ethnographic observation, historical reflection, and critical advocacy, Professor Carnegie’s writing brings Kingston to life for far-away audiences, and reminds those closer to home of its wonders as well as its challenges, and what both say about the people who circulate through its streets and public spaces every day.

Kingston Vibes (publ. 5/18/2018)

Walk-Foot People Matter, Pt. 1 (publ. 5/31/2018)

Walk-Foot People Matter, Pt. 2 (publ. 6/14/2018)

Walking Kingston (publ. 6/28/2018)

Reclaiming Kingston, Reclaiming Self (publ. 7/13/2018)



CFP: Caribbean Science/Speculative Fiction Symposium

November 23, 2018
UWI Cave Hill, Barbados

CFP deadline: June 29, 2018


From the organizers:

The Department of Languages,  Linguistics and Literatures at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill is inviting papers that explore themes related to Caribbean speculative fiction. The last two decades have seen an increase in the publication of SF works by Caribbean writers who bring a Caribbean sensibility to a genre that has been steadily gaining global academic recognition. These works encourage a re-examination of what constitutes Caribbean literature. They also challenge us to examine the nature of Caribbean SF, to ask how it differs from other geo-political/cultural writings in the genre, and whether or not writing in this genre helps us to understand the Caribbean’s presence on the global stage.

Abstracts of 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by Friday, 29 June 2018 to:

For more details, see Caribbean Commons post here.

2018 OCM Bocas Prize winner: Jennifer Rahim

The overall 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature was won by Trinidadian Jennifer Rahim’s short-story collection Curfew Chronicles (Peepal Tree, Aug 2017, 208pp). The award was announced on 28 April at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain.

Also on the shortlist – and winner of the Poetry prize – was Shara McCallum’s collection Madwoman (Peepal Tree, Jan 2017, 72pp).

The judges declined to name a non-fiction winner for 2018.

For more information, see the announcement here.