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Announcement from www.ab.gov.ag World Bank lunch-time discussion of the novel UNBURNABLE: 2006-09-27

  • The Government of Antigua and Barbuda joins the World Bank in co-sponsoring a book-reading luncheon of the recently published novel Unburnable written by Antiguan and Barbudan national, Marie-Elena John.

    Dropping in yesterday at the World Bank Information Bookshop in Washington D.C., the Hon Dr. Errol Cort, Minister of Finance and the Economy, offered Marie Elena his congratulations for her published book and asserted his pleasure that the Government has decided to associate itself with her novel. He expressed a sense of closeness with the facets of Antiguan life expressed through Marie-Elena's characters and opined that the book is illustrative of Caribbean development. He also remarked that the gathering showcases the many dimensions of the World Bank. "This institution focuses on the financing of development projects worldwide, yet it can also facilitate a book - reading by an upcoming Caribbean writer and in particular an Antiguan and Barbudan" said Dr Cort.

    A riveting narrative of family betrayal, vengeance and murder, Unburnable depicts the life of Lillian Baptiste, who leaves Dominica under mysterious circumstances at the age of fourteen for the United States. She returns after twenty years with her African-American lover to discover disturbing secrets about her heritage. Having read a few passages from her work, Marie Elena reiterated her gratitude to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the World Bank for the sponsorship of her book- reading.

    Present at Marie Elena's book reading was a panel of distinguished professors and critics of creative writing and gender studies from across Washington D.C. and Maryland.

    Grenadan born Professor Merle Collins, lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Maryland, in a discussion following the reading of Unburnable, said that it was refreshing that Marie Elena's novel depicts the Caribs in Dominica, a community largely excluded from Caribbean literature. She also expressed intrigued at the dialogue which exposes the dynamics between Caribbean blacks and their African-American counterparts.

    Also present at the reading was Mr. Lebrecht Hesse, Solicitor General, H.E. Deborah Mae Lovell Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the Untied States and staff members of the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda in Washington DC.

    Marie Elena who hails from Gambles Terrace joins a growing number of distinguished Antiguan and Barbudan authors.
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