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Three-Time Grammy Winner John Legend, Daytime TV Star Renee Elise Goldsberry & Fashion Designer Brian Reyes Celebrate Antiguan Writer’s Literary Debut: 2006-04-11

  • (New York, NY) On Monday evening, April 10th, R&B; superstar John Legend, Daytime Emmy Award nominee and recent The Color Purple Broadway star Renee Elise Goldsberry (One Life to Live) and award-winning fashion designer Brian Reyes joined entertainment’s elite to celebrate the publication of Caribbean American author Marie-Elena John’s debut literary work UNBURNABLE. Also on hand for the celebration was Suzanne Boyd, the celebrated Caribbean Canadian editrix who is also a close family member of John. The fête took place at Harlem’s new hotspot Baton Rouge, owned by Sheron Barnes of the beloved Caribbean Soul cuisine haven Mo’Bay. The event was hosted by music industry veteran and power publicist to the stars Yvette Noel-Schure, Sr. Vice President of Media for Sony Urban Music. Sponsors of the event were Antigua Tourist Office-New York, House of Dereon, Warm Spirit, L’Oreal, GP Deva, Antigua Distillery Ltd.

    UNBURNABLE has been heralded by Publishers Weekly as an “affecting debut novel” filled with “strong writing and interesting supporting characters.” Provocative and set partly in post World War II Dominica and contemporary Washington, D.C., UNBURNABLE entails a brutal rape with a broken shard of a Coke bottle, and a suspenseful murder mystery.

    Marie-Elena John wasn’t considering a writing career when she left her Caribbean island for New York’s City College. There, thanks to a semester spent at the University of Nigeria, she became fascinated by the intertwined cultural commonality of the Continent, the Caribbean, and the African-American experiences. This fascination became the basis for UNBURNABLE, a multi-generational narrative of family, betrayal, and vengeance.

    From a Washington, D.C. base throughout the 1990s, Marie Elena-John worked with non-profit organizations, traveling throughout Africa, first in support of grassroots development efforts, later working with pro-democracy and human rights movements, and eventually becoming best known in her field for her pioneering work on the denial of women’s inheritance rights in Africa.

    Marie-Elena John divides her time between Washington D.C. and Antigua with her husband and two children.

    Unburnable by Marie-Elena John
    Amistad/Harpercollins
    ISBN: 0060837578
    On-Sale 04/11/2006/Hardcover
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