Tomorrow, WNBA-NYC will be holding our National Reading Group Month Author Panel and Networking Party.
The theme of the panel is re-imagined classics. Panelists include Lyndsay Faye (Jane Steele), Catherine Lowell (The Madwoman Upstairs), Elizabeth Nunez (Even in Paradise) and Dinitia Smith (The Honeymoon)! Sam Raim will moderate the panel. He is an associate editor at Penguin Books, where he edits original fiction and nonfiction for Penguin Books, as well as reissues, translations, and anthologies for Penguin Classics.
Date: Thursday, October 6th
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Location: Pen + Brush Gallery, 29 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010
Tickets: Members are free. Non-members $5-10
Each day this week, WNBA-NYC blog will highlight each panelist with a book description and a few get-to-know-you questions. (Due to technical difficulties with the blog you may not have received the subscriber email or seen the social media post about it. You can read about Lyndsay Faye here and Catherine Lowell here.)
Today we will be getting to know:
Title: Even in Paradise
Publisher: Akashic Books
Peter Ducksworth, a Trinidadian widower of English ancestry, retires to Barbados, believing he will ﬁnd an earthly paradise there. He decides to divide his land among his three daughters while he is alive, his intention not unlike that of King Lear, who hoped “That future strife / May be prevented now.” But Lear made the fatal mistake of confusing ﬂattery with love, and so does Ducksworth. Feeling snubbed by his youngest daughter, Ducksworth decides that only after he dies will she receive her portion of the land. In the meantime, he gives his two older daughters their portions, ironically setting in motion the very strife he hoped to prevent.
Beautifully written in elegant prose, this is a novel about greed, resentment, jealousy, betrayal, and romantic love in the postcolonial world of the Caribbean, giving us a diverse cast of characters of African, Indian, Chinese, Syrian/Lebanese, and English ancestry.
WNBA: What are you currently reading?
EN: I’m rereading Anna Karenina for the umpteenth time.
WNBA: What was the very first classic you read? Did you like it?
EN: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I was twelve years old and I fell in love with Elizabeth Bennet, so much so that I insisted that my family drop my nickname Betty and begin calling me Elizabeth. I admired Elizabeth Bennet’s integrity and courage to stand up against the strictures of her time, particularly the pressure put on her by her mother and society to get married to a man who could support her in a grand manner. She opted for love and in the end, she got both: love and money.
WNBA: When did you discover your passion for writing?
EN: I was one of eleven children and I longed for a space of my own. I found that space in the imaginary worlds of fiction, so from the moment I learned to read, I was an avid reader. Reading led to my desire to create my own worlds with writing. I developed a passion to create stories that took me to places and situations that my real world did not provide.
WNBA: How would you describe your writing process?
EN: I write in the morning when my brain is most alert. I do not outline. Before I begin to write, I have usually spent hours just thinking about some topic/issue that has preoccupied me. When I have a first line, I begin to write. That first line gives me the POV, the tense, the poetry. The writing leads to writing. I trust my muse.
WNBA: What is your favorite color?
EN: The turquoise blue sea.