Monday, January 28, 2013

Surinamese literature

I'm pretty sure you weren't expecting it, but Suriname has some skillful artists who have written several beautiful books. Cynthia Mcleod is probably Suriname's most celebrated author of historical novels on Suriname. She has written quite a few and they're all equally captivating and beautifully written. What makes these books especially precious is that they're based on actual historical facts. Mrs Mcleod has dedicated herself to years of research before putting pen to paper. So let yourself be swept away by her works of art on slavery, the history of Suriname, ethnical diversity and the complexity of Surinamese society. I love the detailed way she goes about telling her stories. You can almost smell the sweet sent of Surinamese air, feel the wind as it sweeps over the fields and taste the b-b-met-r that her characters dig in to. My personal favorite is "Welkom el Dorado", a stunning story about the Couderc family that portraits how the stretch of time can change personal views, society and even the way one views oneself.

Two titles are also available in English  "The cost of sugar" and "The free negress Elisabeth". You can buy them hereherehere and hopefully also in your local bookstore :)
If you happen to be in Suriname (you never know...) do take a tour along the beautiful plantations and maybe you'll be lucky enough to have your trip narrated by mrs. Mcleod herself!

Another must read is "De koningin van Paramaribo" (The queen of Paramaribo) by Clark Accord. Don't let the title fool you, Suriname is a republic and has never actually had a queen. The lady in question miss Maxi Linder was Suriname's most notorious prostitute. In fact her reputation preceded her all the way to The Netherlands. It was the many sailors and soldiers who frequented her services whom lovingly gave her the name "the black queen of the west". Clark Accord has been able to write a captivating chronicle on her life's story; her startling rise and unfortunately also her painful demise. Mr. Accord has also written two other books "Tussen Apoera en Oreala" and "Bingo" but personally I think his first novel is his best work.

You can buy his work here and here. Unfortunately they're not available in English, his first novel however is translated in Spanish and German. 

Now of you go and get reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment