A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley Found Her Voice

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A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley Found Her Voice

A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley Found Her Voice

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The whole novel is told from a distinctly female perspective: From the child in a library to the student of literature who works weekends at the grocery store (hence the title), the protagonist is mainly defined by the books that influenced her, from Roald Dahl to Anaïs Nin), and her attempts at writing stories. Merging autofiction and essay, the reading journey becomes a psychological exploration, also regarding the perception of the people around her (e.g. boyfriend who only reads biographies of “very eminent men”, and a Russian customer at the supermarket who somehow has his Nietzsche handy). Peppered into the seven sections that make up the text, we also have fables the main character has crafted herself. Bennett's book retains its integrity. It is a whole in spite of and because of its parts. It may be my top reading experience of 2021.

Louise Bennett review – a stunning debut Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett review – a stunning debut

In comparison to Part III the other six Parts act rather more like accompanying movements to the central piece, containing echoes of the same riffs, themes, phrases and anecdotes, with variations of their own. Indeed I might recommend the reader begins with Part IV, as the easiest way in to the novel, although clearly this wasn’t the author’s intention.There is, for instance, the whole range of Louise’s special Anancy stories. (Anancy is that legendary Jamaican spider-god from whom, so Jamaican folklore has it, all the human race is descended. Anancy is part god, part devil and part homespun Jamaican – but in all the best stories he unaccountably speaks through his notes – a modern compliment perhaps to American neighbours).

Hon. Dr. Louise Bennett Coverley (1919 – 2006) - The Rt. Hon. Dr. Louise Bennett Coverley (1919 – 2006) - The

Her work highlighted themes of identity, migration, and colonialism, which are captured in her poem Colonization in Reverse. A shortened version has been featured in Transport for London’s ‘Poems on the Underground’ series.

Part III Won't You Bring in the Birds is then much the longest and also the most striking. At its heart this is based on the narrator's recollection, and elaboration, on a story she wrote many years previously, and it is striking how in recounting it she pinpoints the timing by the novels she had read by that time: a b c Moses, Knolly (29 July 2006). "Louise Bennett, Jamaican Folklorist, Dies at 86". The New York Times . Retrieved 28 November 2015. The narrator’s largely solitary lifestyle enables her to eschew what Bennett (pictured) has called “anthropocentric parochialism”. “In solitude you don’t need to make an impression on the world,” the author explained to the Irish Times, “so the world has some opportunity to make an impression on you.” When that impression fails to materialise, in “A Little Before Seven”, the protagonist presses down on the worktop to give herself “a little more density”. In “Morning, Noon & Night” she lies in bed next to her boyfriend, thinking of the vegetables “out there in the dark”: “I’d splay my fingers towards the ceiling and feel such yearning!” Louise Bennett Exchange Fellowship in Caribbean Literary Studies University of Toronto – University of West Indies". University of Toronto. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015 . Retrieved 1 May 2016.

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