January 21, 2017 by Fensic
It was late larse year when ah next one ah mih pardnahs call mih. Who is tuh say dis not how de conversation went?
“Yuh ever hear bout Danielle Brown?”
“No,” ah answer he back. “Who she?”
“Ah guess dat mean yuh never hear bout ah book name, “East of Flatbush, North Of Love,” was he response.
“West ah where an south ah which part,” ah answer.
Dat is de perfect response from somebody who so directionally challenged dey does panic when ah cardinal point get mentioned.
“Yuh tink yuh could write ah review orn de book, she write it.”
“What is de name ah dat book again?”
“Ah go drop it in de mail as usual. When yuh tink yuh could finish it by?”
“Gimme dat name again nah so when de book reach ah eh go toss it aside.”
“East of Flatbush, North Of Love, by Danielle Brown. Yuh cyar fuhget dat name.”
“Danielle Brown? Nah I eh go fuhget.”
“Leh me know eef yuh run into problems”.
Wid dat he gorn.
Not knowin who dis Danielle person was an why she writin ah book wid ah title ah had trouble rememberin did mean only one ting.
Moments later mih computer screen show ah Danielle Brown, PhD who just publish ah book wid ah title dat had cardinal points in it.
Dat must be she an she book, ah tort.
Mih eyebrows arch by deyself when ah see she born an raise in Brooklyn NY an she parents is immigrants from de Caribbean.
De picture ah find ah she round out all ah needed tuh know tuh start.
When de book reach, ah do mih best not tuh violate de sayin about how tuh judge it. Ah couldn’t help noticin de larse page say “180” doh.
Duck soup, ah tell mihself headin dong memory lane tuh mih Trinity days.
Any Sunday before de Monday dat ah next book review was due, I would be now crackin de book open fuh de first time. Before night reach good I would done read what ah needed tuh read an done write what ah needed tuh write. No teacher dared suggest me eh read de whole book. So what eef I eh write nuttin about what in de middle ah de book?
Mih mind returned from it stroll.
Ah look at dis book title: “East of Flatbush, North Of Love, An Ethnography of Home”. Ah shrug mih shoulders. Nuttin tuh sweat about cause ah done know me eh go remember dat title. Den ah start readin.
Let mih jump ahead tuh what end up happenin.
First was de title ah de book. Wake mih up from ah deep sleep an ask mih what it is so ah could show orf.
Ah also read de book from cover tuh cover, re-readin funny parts like when Danielle or she brudder get licks.
Ah know she parents eh just Caribbean immigrants, dey is Trinis. Ah know callin she ah Trini who just happen tuh born an grow up in de US is simplistic. De woman went beyond learnin she Trini heritage. She grow up inhalin an exhalin de culture. Or was dat only when she visited family dong Digo? She know more Trini history dan de average Trini. She PhD dissertation was orn Parang. She not just deep into de region music. she is de epitome ah multi cultural.
I learn tings about Triniland in dem 180 pages me eh know before in all mih born days. Ah not shame tuh admit I didn’t know it had ah sequence in parang songs. I tort all yuh had tuh worry about as ah parenderos was tuh not parang de rong house.
When I was done readin de book an writin mih review, which I not here tuh duplicate, ah went back tuh search fuh more about dis person who ah was feelin ah should know given how much we share.
She leave academia tuh focus orn ah more powerful love. Findin dat out is when my troubles start an de real reason ah writin dis.
Any author know promotin ah book involve doin book tours an book signings an gettiin in front cameras or orn de radio, anyting anyplace tuh advertise dey book so people would read it.
Eef yuh tinkin one place wid plenty potential readers is Trinidad an Tobago yuh would be right.
Yuh would also be very rong at de same time it seems.
I cyar find one reference anyplace in de Trininland media tuh dis book. Maybe ah should stop right here wid dat; before ah explode nah. Buh noooo, ah have tuh soldier orn.
Ah really doh understand de kind ah vikey vike way Trinis does assign Trini status tuh people who doh live in Triniland. How many ah dem who get dat invaluable status really care fuh it or was even lookin fuh it?
Tuh worsen tings, ah hate it when dis one Caribbean country ah not go name in case doin so swell dey head, does recognize Caribbean people outside it borders more dan Triniland does do. Or so it seems.
Is in dat country newspaper ah see de only Caribbean media reference tuh dis book.
Why no rush den . . . okay casual stroll, in T&T tuh embrace dis woman? Why nuttin in de papers about local book signings?
I is de onlyest one wid ah valid reason fuh not rememberin de book name. An how long dat larse eh? De name ah de book cyar be nobody else excuse.
Take it from me, Dr. Brown is more Trini — an tuh de marrow — dan many. Like Michael Jackson doctor. Oh how Trinis did rush tuh embrace his damn arse when de King ah Pop died. Why? An what happen tuh de dotish idea out ah de ministry ah health dat he could practice doctorin in Trinidad. He know how tuh even tork trinispeak? Dr. Brown could explatiate in it.
Is true when she was little an tort she was ah young Dr. Rat, (she describe sheself as ah badjohn), she benefit from more dan just Trini culture, buh still.
Dat eh mean I ready tuh hold hands across de Caribbean Sea divide an sing Kumbaya nah.
Maybe it unfair tuh believe just because I enjoy ah book an tink de author should be applauded, dat anybody else go agree. Actually hell yes dey should. At least clap!!
At de very least acknowledge Triniland no different from anyplace else wid people who, even if dey livin abroad, does produce shinnin chirren who more dan full ah Trini-ness. Examples ah dat wouldn’t produce plenty pride?
Ah wonder eef Dr. Brown know all she do wasn’t necessary. No summers dong Digo; no learnin trinispeak. She even know tales ah Soucouyant an La Diablesse does still frighten hard back Trini men? Someting else ah eh shame tuh say ah learn. Anyway, Triniland would snap she up, against she will eef need be. Just let dat book win foreign acclaim.
Moot tort doh.
She was doin de connectin, not de udder way arong.
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