Austin ‘Tom’ Clarke: Let’s Honour Our Legends Before It’s Too Late

Submitted by David Comissiong
The Late Austin 'Tom' Clarke

The Late Austin ‘Tom’ Clarke

In December of 2015 I produced a newspaper article that acknowledged Barbados’ good fortune of possessing no less than four “living legends” of literature– George Lamming, Paule Marshall , Kamau Brathwaite and Austin “Tom” Clarke.

Well, as we learnt on Monday of this week, Tom Clarke is no longer with us!  As a tribute to the late Tom Clarke, and as a “wake up call” to my fellow Barbadians, I now reproduce a slightly edited version of the said article:–

“In just a few months time Barbados will be celebrating its 50th year of Independence. I would therefore like – at this time – to urge the people, organisations, and Government of Barbados to make an effort to identify and catalogue the various “resources” that Barbados possesses, and to resolve to fully deploy and utilize these “resources” for the development of our country.

And one of the resources that I would like to identify and bring to the attention of the nation is the cultural and psychological power embedded in the collected works of Barbados’ four living legends of literature – George Lamming, Paule Marshall, Kamau Brathwaite, and Austin “Tom” Clarke.

Yes, Barbados possesses no less than four living legends of literature! Just take a moment to think about the significance of that fact. How many other countries can boast of possessing as many as four living legends of world literature? I – for one – cannot think of any! There is no other Caribbean country, no Third World country, no so-called First World nation for that matter, that can claim to possess as many as four living legends of world literature!

But being able to lay claim to these four cultural treasures is a relatively superficial thing! The real issue is – do we recognize the valuableness of the resource that lies in our hand, and are we putting it to good use?

The youngest of the four living legends is the 81 year old Toronto-based Austin “Tom” Clarke, the winner of such prestigious international awards as Canada’s W. O. Mitchell Prize, Cuba’s Casa de las Americas Prize, and the Martin Luther King Junior Award for excellence in writing. Tom Clarke’s body of work consists of ten novels, six short story collections and three memoirs, most of which are based either in Toronto or in Barbados itself.

In Clarke’s Toronto-based stories, we are able to more clearly discern the elements of the true Barbadian, portrayed as they are against a foreign back-drop. And, as Barbadian literacy critic, John Wichkam, has observed – Clarke brings to this act of re-creation a faithful ear for the accent and rhythms of our Barbadian nation-language, and a powerful visual memory.

But there are also the Barbados based novels such as Growing Up Stupid Under The Union Jack, The Prime Minister, and The Polished Hoe, which help us to understand and to come to terms with the trauma of colonialism and the psychic damage that it inflicted

The most senior of our four living legends of literature is 88 year old George Lamming, who is considered to be the dean of Caribbean writers – an accolade bestowed upon him by the great literary critic, C.L.R. James, way back in the 1960’s.

George Lamming is the author of six novels – In the Castle of My Skin (1953), The Emigrants (1954), Of Age and Innocence (1958), Seasons of Adventure (1960), Water with Berries (1971), Natives of My Person (1972) – and of three books of critical essays, namely Pleasures of Exile (1960), Coming, Coming Home (1995), and Sovereignty of the Imagination (2009).

Lamming’s fellow “legend”, Kamau Brathwaite, explained the ground-breaking significance of Lamming’s first novel as follows –

“Then in 1953, George Lamming’s In the Castle of My Skin appeared and everything was transformed. Here breathing to me from every pore of line and page was the Barbados I had lived. The words, the rhythms, the cadences, the scenes, the people, their predicament.”

In addition, C.L.R. James never spared any opportunity to bring to our attention the many profound and cutting-edge cultural/political critiques and perspectives contained in Lamming’s works. A couple examples from just one novel will suffice to prove the point:-

“Free is how you is from the start. An’ when it look different you got to move, just move! An’ when you moving say that it is a natural freedom that make you move”.

(Season of Adventure, 1960)

“Until the age of ten, Powell and I had lived together, equal in the affection of two mothers…….. Powell and I were taught at the same Primary school. And then the division came. I got a public scholarship which started my migration into the world of the educated….the elite…… which now shut Powell and the whole village right out of my future….. I attached myself to that new privilege…….. I believe that the mad impulse which drove Powell to his criminal defeat was largely my doing……. I am responsible for what happened to my brothers.”

(Season of Adventure, 1960)

The second living legend in order of seniority is 86 year old Paule Marshall, who was born in Brooklyn, New York City to Barbadian parents, and who not only grew up in a tightly knit Barbadian immigrant community, but also visited and lived in Barbados for varying periods of time.

The highly acclaimed Paule Marshall has produced five novels, four of which explore the history, culture, vernacular, predicament and spirit of the Barbadian people “at home and abroad” – Brown Girl, Brownstones (1959), The Chosen Place, The Timeless People (1969), Praisesong for the Widow (1983), Daughters (1991), and The Fisher King ( 1998) – and a Barbados-steeped memoir entitled Triangular Road (2009).

Ms. Marshall’s novels are filled with Barbadian female characters who would resonate with and speak in a profound way to the current generation of Barbadian girls and women, if only these novels were made widely available in our country! I refer to such characters as middle-aged Silla Boyce and her Brooklyn born daughter, Selina, whose coming of age is explored in Brown Girl, Brownstones; racially conscious Merle Kinbona ,who defends the cultural integrity of the island in The Chosen Place, The Timeless People; and the sophisticated 1980’s young professional – Ursa Mackenzie – who, out of a sense of love for her country and her politican-father, sabotages the latter’s election campaign and his Cahill-type plan to sell out the country, in Daughters.

Marshall’s novels also express what Kamau Brathwaite has described as the “literature of re-connection” with Africa. Thus, in describing a number of the quintessentially Barbadian characters in Chosen Place, Timeless People, Ms Marshall reaches back to Africa:-

“A…… strikingly tall, lean old man….. His face, his neck, his clean-shaven skull, had the elongated intentionally distorted look to them of a Benin mask or a sculpted thirteenth century Ife head”….. Whereas, Delbert, the shopkeeper “was huge with massive limbs….. He was the chief presiding over the palavering …. the colourful shirt he had on was his robe of office; the battered Panama hat….. his Chieftan’s umbrella, and the bottle of white rum he held, the palm wine with which he kept the palaver and made libation to the ancestral gods.”

Our fourth living legend is the 85 year old Kamau Brathwaite, whose works of poetry, drama, history, literacy criticism, and cultural analysis are far too numerous to list!

I will therefore satisfy myself with stating that Kamau Brathwaite is easily one of the world’s most outstanding intellectuals and scholars, and that he should have won the Nobel prize for literature many times over!

I will also recommend that our educational authorities should deem at least three of Brathwaite’s works essential and mandatory texts for our secondary and tertiary curriculum:- The Arrivants (Kamau’s first, Pan-African based, trilogy of poetical works); Ancestors (Kamau’s second, and Barbados-centred, trilogy); and Barbabajan Poems (Kamau’s encyclopaedic exploration of Barbadian poetry, history, landscapes and culture).

Fellow Barbadians: we will not have the living legends with us forever! Let us, therefore, show them our appreciation, love and respect – now! And let us have the good sense to do ourselves a big favour by embracing, reading, and making full use of their invaluable works!”

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108 Comments on “Austin ‘Tom’ Clarke: Let’s Honour Our Legends Before It’s Too Late”

  1. Hal Austin June 28, 2016 at 9:41 AM #

    Edward Kamau Brathwaite as Poet Laureate for life.


  2. de pedantic Dribbler June 28, 2016 at 9:43 AM #

    @Pieces there is everything credible with your ” Imagine if we were to challenge some of our young talented animators..Imagine if we were to get Pinelands Creative Workshop to dress up […]”.

    And we have done that (Pragnell with Callender’s works as you noted. Similar Marva Manning theatrical audios. The “Laff It Off” crew for years). So yes that next step ‘locally’ is for animators to move the timeline forward. We do need to move to those next levels.

    You are a man of the world so you know that there is a Broadway play of recent awesome peer acclaim with 11 Tony awards called ‘Hamilton’ which does exactly as you just directed.

    It’s Tim Callender’s type vernacular bringing to life a time long past and awakening and awareness of people long considered dead… And will go on to other formats and genres no doubt: digital, cartoon series, movie…

    But what about the context of ‘legendary’. The creator of that show will likely go on to become a ‘legend’ for his achievements.

    No need to go into all that he has caused with his rap rhythms (anyone can Google that) but suffice to say that before his play Treasury Sec Hamilton was being considered to be removed from the US $10 note. No longer. Did he a make a major impact on how generations view US human icons? Was his a ‘revolutionary’ voice.

    Was the fact that most of the artists for this play were African-American, revolutionary for US/NY theater?

    And all this because this talented artiste READ a book that inspired him to create a play of a long forgotten but very important man. And do it in a modern engaging way.

    Let’s agree to disagree on the word legend as it relates to writers and artists in their sphere…or let’s agree that you guys are totally wrong. LOLL.

    How can one dispute the word when the fundamental and substantive definition per your note says: “Legend – an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a PARTICULAR field.


  3. Bush Tea June 28, 2016 at 10:37 AM #

    No one is attempting to take ANYTHING away from the genius of these native writers. The discussion here is about this business of classifying ‘legends’.

    AWTY you are wrong on many levels….

    First, what Bushie has is not any damn talent. It is a whacker for crying out loud…. It was on loan because some wild bush needed to be whacked on BU, …and Bushie was selected and sent for the job…probably cause the bushman like that kinda shiite…
    LOL …it seems that just as Bushie was getting to enjoy the wuk …the thing get tek way… 😦

    There are many ways to analysis the use of talent.
    ….It can be buried – hidden and ignored by the holder.
    ….it can be under-utilised – probably best characterised by Carl Hooper
    ….it can be fully (and impressively) exploited as we have seen with Brathwaite/ Clarke/ Lamming/ Marshall
    …and then a few unique individuals have been able to perform WAY ABOVE the natural talents with which they were born….

    There is nothing ‘legendary’ about any of the first three scenarios. The first is shiite; the second is low self-esteem; and the third is what is expected.

    The term ‘LEGENDARY’ comes up when individuals rise ABOVE their natural talents and perform at a level that is BEYOND their expected capabilities …to accomplish significant advancement in the human experience.

    Since AWTY wants to use biblical analogies, the story of the widow’s mite tells us a lot… In contributing her very small offering, that represented ALL that she had, she out-did even a ‘Bizzy’ – even if he donated MILLIONS to the RBPF…

    To whom great talent is given, MUCH is expected. ….E X P E C T E D!!! …as in duh!!!!

    ‘Legendary’ would be (for example) like if Alvin’s Book ’bout the ‘dying mile trees’ became a best-seller – or even if it turns out to be coherent…. 🙂 ha ha ha


  4. David June 28, 2016 at 11:25 AM #


    The simple explanation is that our societies are insular because of our smallness. It is why we can always find some BS to share about Sobers, Lara etc.



  5. balance June 28, 2016 at 12:33 PM #

    !”!!, but it is not just about our age groups. It is about our children, and our children’s children and their grand children. If these writers had not written how would our great grandchildren know who we were,”

    The average child is not exposed to the works of the literary masters appartently as someone pointed out not even in our schools. It is the stories of the foreparents that make the most impact certainly in my case.


  6. are-we-there-yet June 28, 2016 at 12:43 PM #


    Let’s agree to disagree on this one.

    BTW. I bought a hard copy of Alvin’s book “YESHUA a.k.a. Jesus the Nazarene” a few weeks ago. I’ve just scanned through it so far as I have’nt had the time to read it but my impressions are that it is an interesting allegorical look at transcendental themes that might be relevant to the discussion on Quantum consciousness. So far, It betrays an innovativeness that is diametrically opposite to Alvin’s yardfowlish traits that are so often exhibited here on BU.


  7. Bush Tea June 28, 2016 at 1:24 PM #

    LOL @ AWTY
    …sounds like the makings of a legend…..
    But then again the view may be different from someone who knows the subject personally… 🙂


  8. Gabriel June 28, 2016 at 1:44 PM #

    A ghost writer then?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. David June 28, 2016 at 2:27 PM #

    Aren’t teachers who mold young minds influenced by the works of our literary masters and therefore the children will be vicariously?


  10. pieceuhderockyeahright June 28, 2016 at 3:16 PM #

    @ Hants.

    It is people like you that a faction of “Lets go Along to get along” would Kill.

    Fellahs like you have remembrance, and this was the Tom Clarke that I remembered.

    So it is for this reason that I stumbled when I read rather interpreted the word legend in the title, because mine was a remembrance of another man in another time indifferent vestments.

    All men will stumble and fall at some time in their lives, that is the nature of man.

    I guess that I was raised on a staple of civil rebellion that, in the earlier days, did not involve claymores and M-16s and suppressors and garrotes

    Thank you Hants for such sweet remembrance of Austin Tom Clarke who brings to mind this statement “this was a man”

    “He only in a general honest thought, And common good to all, made one of them. His life was gentle, and the elements So mixed in him that Nature might stand up And say to all the world, This was a man.”

    Dear Blogmaster

    If you would be so kind and put up this fond remembrance of the younger soldier whom Father Time seemed to have touched, first to be more politically correct, and then as wisdom set in, a characteristic that is forever lost on me, to move through the minefield of life and commerce to financial stability (a thing that dis ole man cant learn) finally to this veil (one which we all must cross)

    THis was the Man Tom Clarke of auld and proxy acquaintance.


  11. pieceuhderockyeahright June 28, 2016 at 3:28 PM #

    BTW this is an excerpt from that site

    THis is the Austin Clarke “I grew up on”

    “During the discussion, Clarke calls out the kind of discrimination prevalent in Canada, where “nobody’s gonna tell you you can’t go anywhere; nobody’s gonna tell you can’t apply for the job.” He compares it with the more overt prejudice of Birmingham, Al. where an African-American “knows where he is,” and as a result, “has less of a psychological war within himself.”

    “This is the whole problem with race, you see. You could say that perhaps I might be too sensitive. But the fact is that I am black, and I have to live in a condition of pseudo-acceptance.” For Clarke, that meant always “looking behind the action to see what the man is thinking.”

    Of interest is the entry by the Canadian Broadcasting Corportation Canada website.

    “To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada’s online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.”

    And further down

    Commenting is now closed for this story.

    There are no comments yet.


  12. Well Well & Consequences June 28, 2016 at 7:53 PM #

    Timmy Callendar, anothrr national treasure and literary genius.

    Barbados does not celebrate, respect or appreciate national treasure, they however are more than happy to celebrate their crooked business people.


  13. balance June 28, 2016 at 8:30 PM #

    In any other Caribbean country they would be “National Heroes”, Clarke has received many literary awards as well as Canada’s highest civilian award “Order of Canada”.

    I wouldn’t be surprised given the fact that any and everybody are bestowed titles and accolades these days and poor Canada has been trying to redress the imbalance for some time. Even Ms Sally Cools of McGill University infamy has life Senatorship in Canada.


  14. balance June 28, 2016 at 8:35 PM #

    “David June 28, 2016 at 2:27 PM #

    Aren’t teachers who mold young minds influenced by the works of our literary masters and therefore the children will be vicariously?”

    Not sure about the use of the word ‘vicariously’ in this sense but I still say no, no ,no.not at all.


  15. balance June 28, 2016 at 8:36 PM #

    “Well Well & Consequences June 28, 2016 at 7:53 PM #

    Timmy Callendar, anothrr national treasure and literary genius.

    Barbados does not celebrate, respect or appreciate national treasure, they however are more than happy to celebrate their crooked business people.”

    Mouths are fed out of the dealings of the crooked business people

    Liked by 1 person

  16. balance June 28, 2016 at 8:39 PM #

    Rest in peace Cawmere Tom my most vivid memory of you will be of your service to the nation during your controversial but spectacular stint at CBC. Rest in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hants June 28, 2016 at 9:08 PM #

    September 1970 McGill students organized a Black Students’ Association for the University, in response to lack of accessibility and administrative indifference. The organization’s chair, Sally Cools, summed up the feelings shared by many black students: “We’re being effed around left, right, and centre at McGill.”


  18. Colonel Buggy June 28, 2016 at 10:39 PM #

    I had this dream that Prime Minister Stuart was honoured by Buck House in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours, for his dedication to, and his personal cosy chats and afternoon tea, with smiles a mile wide , with the frequent visitors from England, while unselfishly dissing his own people.


  19. are-we-there-yet June 28, 2016 at 10:58 PM #

    Col Buggy;

    Good poster!

    Which one represents our Freundel? Cant’ be the one on the Queen’s left side as we can see his teeth.


  20. David June 29, 2016 at 7:18 PM #

    Of interest:

    Former Chilean military official found liable for killing of Victor Jara

    Florida jury awards $28m in verdict that could lead to Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñez’s extradition to face criminal charges over 1973 killing of folk singer

    Victor Jara was killed in 1973 in the opening days of the dictatorship of Gen Augusto Pinochet.

    Victor Jara was killed in 1973 in the opening days of the dictatorship of Gen Augusto Pinochet. Photograph: Fundacion Victor Jara, Antonio L/AP

    Richard Luscombe in Orlando


    Monday 27 June 2016 21.05 BST Last modified on Tuesday 28 June 2016 22.00 BST

    Save for later

    A Florida jury on Monday found a former Chilean army officer liable for the 1973 torture and murder of the folk singer and political activist Victor Jara, awarding $28m in damages to his widow and daughters in one of the biggest and most significant legal human rights victories against a foreign war criminal in a US courtroom.

    The verdict against Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñez after a two-week civil trial in Orlando’s federal court could now also pave the way for his extradition to face criminal murder charges in Chile related to his conduct during a CIA-backed coup that led to Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year military dictatorship and the deaths of almost 3,100 people.

    Accusers said Barrientos, 67, who now lives in Deltona, Florida, shot dead Jara, 40, in September 1973 after three days of beatings while the socialist-leaning theatre director and university lecturer was among thousands of suspected communists and subversives detained in Santiago’s soccer stadium.

    Barrientos, who fled Chile in 1989 and became a US citizen through marriage, was one of nine retired army officers indicted for murder in his homeland four years ago but the US Department of Justice has not responded to a request by the Chilean government for his return.

    Kathy Roberts, legal director of the Center for Justice and Accountability, the California-based human rights group that brought the civil action on behalf of Jara’s British-born widow, Joan Turner Jara, and daughters Amanda Turner Jara and Manuela Bunster, believes the Florida jury’s ruling could now increase the pressure on the DoJ.

    “It’s a step on the path towards justice for our clients and for Victor but also for the many other families who lost someone at Chile Stadium so many years ago,” she said after the verdict.

    “We presented evidence that started to shed light on what happened there, and we hope that process will continue in Chile and we hope that the United States will extradite Mr Barrientos to face justice in the country where he committed these crimes.”

    Joan Jara Turner, 88, testified during the trial that her husband’s death in a stadium locker room had “cut my life in two”, and has previously spoken of the horror of having to identify his tortured and mutilated body in a morgue after he was dumped outside the stadium with 44 bullet wounds.


  21. Gabriel June 29, 2016 at 8:48 PM #

    I don’t think you intended the pun but I too enjoyed Tom Clarke’s weekly column in the Nation newspaper.He wrote of his favorite school Combermere and his glorious memories of that institution and which I enjoyed to the max as I too recalled my own.He wrote of a one o’clock wind blowing across Weymouth pasture and of Ben Brown eating a ham cutter faster than you can say muff holder.Such wit,such humour,such turn of phrase,making his stories come alive,placing you there in the moment,in the form room with Bull Williams or Colly or Laddies Goddard,de Bing and Blinks.We learned….life.


  22. Simple Simon June 29, 2016 at 9:14 PM #

    I was reading Austin Clarke once and a family member came into the room and asked Why are you smiling?” I did not realize that I had been smiling.

    So “Thanks Tom” for making me and so many other people happy.

    I know, I know. We can’t take smiles to the shop. We can’t take happiness to the shop. We can’t take kindness to the shop. We can’t take love to the shop.

    But how poor a life it would be if there were no smiles, no happiness, no kindness, no love.


  23. Georgie Porgie June 29, 2016 at 9:27 PM #



  24. Simple Simon June 29, 2016 at 10:22 PM #

    Dr. GP: As a doctor AND as a spiritual man you understand that we are not just flesh and blood. You understand that the material is not all. You understand that there is spirit. That there is culture. That we are multi dimensional. You understand that smiles, happiness, kindness and love canotn be dissected in the lab. And yet we all know that they are real, real.


  25. Georgie Porgie June 29, 2016 at 11:15 PM #

    what is your point woman?
    you said you read clarke and it made you smile
    I said that similarly I read Capt WE Johns” Biggles, and Anthony Buckeridge’s Jennings & Derbyshire and that these made me smile. I said that my father used to mock me when I read such as a little HC boy.

    i did not know it then but just as his behavior was water off duck’s back and it made me strong suck mocking prepared me for what I have jhad to endure on BU


  26. Colonel Buggy June 30, 2016 at 10:32 PM #

    are-we-there-yet June 28, 2016 at 10:58 PM #
    If you are not a frequent visitor invited to Illaro Court, are of the local gentry class, you may not see those teeth, which quickly transforms into a broaaaaaaaad smile.
    To the ordinary Barbadian, the sight of those teeth indicate a snarl.


  27. chad99999 July 4, 2016 at 3:55 PM #

    Although Trinidad is a lost cause, and should be left to drift toward the East, Patrick Manning was my idea of a prime minister. He looked the part – smiling, confident and down-to-earth. None of the sullen insecurity of the Barbados PM. Fearless (even in the face of death) and more honest than most. In fact, my understanding is that he had to go to Cuba in 2008 to have a malignant tumor removed from his kidneys because he could not afford to get the procedure done in North America or the UK.
    Like Eric Williams, he spent as little time as possible abroad, and died in a local hospital after receiving less than first-rate care. The Caribbean really needs to improve the standard of its professions, and not just in medicine, but in everything else, including law, banking, accounting, etc. Too many West Indians make idle boasts about the quality of our educational system compared to that of North America, but the best and brightest of this region cannot compete with the top dogs in North America and the UK.


  28. de pedantic Dribbler July 4, 2016 at 4:58 PM #

    @Chad45 on what do you base the remark “the best and brightest of this region cannot compete with the top dogs in North America and the UK”?

    If you refer to development of world beating software or applications that captures the imagination of millions, then yes you are accurate.

    If you refer to development of world beating technology ( to outer space or Tesla electric car & non-fossil power) that advances society and creates great opportunities for new development and growth even as it makes millionaires for its pioneers, then yes, you are accurate.

    If you refer to development of world beating ideas in literature, science, finance et al that captures the imagination of the Nobel committee or propels their innovators/thinkers also to be multi-millionaire successes, then again yes, you are accurate.

    YET, there are regional or local brains that have also excelled in all those areas.

    The local software platform Magna was as effective a local application platform as any in the world. It was good enough to deployed locally and regionally and in Central/South America. It is not a world renowned product but the development and skill that brought that to the market compares to that out of Silicon Valley. Just one simple example. Mr. Weekes can speak to his software developments that can match with any first world brain.

    Professor Headley was a solar pioneer whose solar energy generating cells and solar still designs are used throughout the Caribbean and Central America. He was a world class scientist.

    I appreciate that we have limited ourselves and have not developed as we could and should be but your broadsides lack reality!


  29. Alvin Cummins July 4, 2016 at 6:28 PM #

    @ Dribbler,
    We (The Caribbean), have Nobel Laureates, We (The Caribbean, including Barbados) have scientists of world renown; check the achievements of Dr. Cardinal Warde, former Foundation Boy, whose developments and patents in Micro electronics are exhibited every time you turn on your cell phone. He sold the invention to Japanese developers. We, the Caribbean have world class physicians, neurologists and neurosurgeons, Check former Barbados scholar Paul …….. (Forgot his last name, but it will come back before I finish here), Paediatric Neurosurgeon in British Columbia. We have nothing to be ashamed of. I knew Patrick Manning, he trained to be a Geologist, but turned out to be a good politician.
    Chad, you are wrong we can hold our own anywhere. We have Nobel Laureates in Economics, check Sir Arthur Lewis, Literature, check Derek Walcott, Check Naipaul, etc. Because you are not aware of it you assume that we do not have. Check first and you would be surprised, right in Barbados we have a Nobel Laureate (shared) at Cave Hill in Dr. Nigel Harris; environmentalist.A Barbadian at Mc Gill University was associated with the software that resulted in Google; Can’t remember his full name now, but I think he was an Emptage. I am sure I will be corrected by more knowledgeable persons here.
    If I would have wanted to reply to GP I would have told him that I also read Biggles, etc, but did not find them edifying because I could not identify with them as I could with George Lamming who wrote about Carrington’s village, which I passed every day. I would wonder if he ever read In the Castle of My Skin, or Growing Up Stupid Under the Union Jack, pertaining to our mis-education and indoctrination. But I have decided not to answer his mouthing.
    By the way Bushie,
    “‘Legendary’ would be (for example) like if Alvin’s Book ’bout the ‘dying mile trees’ became a best-seller – or even if it turns out to be coherent….:) ha ha ha
    Suffice to say that all the people who have read my BOOKS (3) or seen my plays,(4 so far) have found them coherent, edifying, informative, and even challenging. Every book written and published is not a best seller. Who knows what will happen? Legendary who knows?
    Up and On.


  30. chad99999 July 4, 2016 at 7:29 PM #

    Alvin Cummins

    We have ONE Nobel laureate in Economics and TWO in Literature. That is all. And there are no new candidates on the horizon. BTW, two of those three Nobel Laureates were educated in England, and lived there and in the US, except for short visits to the Caribbean. You should not be calling them West Indians at all. V.S. Naipaul in particular, despised the Caribbean, especially the black Caribbean, and he stays as far away from the place as he can.
    We may produce the exceptional individual, but they are exceptions, and without a critical mass of outstanding talent you cannot create a great hospital, or a great law firm, or a great accounting firm.




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