Buzzworthy (September/October 2004)

Anthony Winkler’s new book of short stories tackles life’s big questions with healthy mirth • Hilary Beckles challenges the notion of quiet little Barbados • Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool offers calypso lore and commentary, straight From the Horse’s Mouth • “Being Here”, a poem from Guyana-born Cyril Dabydeen’s new collection, Hemisphere of Love • Jeffrey Stollmeyer’s opinionated 1948–49 diary chronicles the West Indies cricket team’s first tour of India

Andrea Levy, Angus MuirBrick & Lace, Courtesy Thoga EntertainmentHenk and Judith Uiterloo, Courtesy Henk and Judith UiterlooNeki Mohan, Courtesy Nekisha MohanOrlando Satchell, Courtesy Ladera Resort/ Orlando Satchell

Small island, big story

“There is a place very few people get to go in their lives, and that is ‘beyond their wildest dreams’,” said Andrea Levy after her novel Small Island won the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction, the prestigious women-only literary award. Set in post-war London, Small Island explores the experience of Caribbean migrants to the UK. Levy, herself the English-born daughter of Jamaican parents, says this was “a bigger story” than her three previous novels. “I want to understand why my parents came to this country, and who they were back in that country . . . Because no one else is going to tell it.”

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Real gems

Tucked away on Prinsessestraat in Paramaribo’s historic heart is the studio of Surinamese jewellers Henk and Judith Uiterloo, better known as Atelier Doré. At the 2004 Caribbean Fashion Week in Kingston, Jamaica, their exquisite handcrafted designs were among the event’s most coveted creations. “This jewellery is out of this world,” said one admirer. “Every woman should own a piece.” The Uiterloos now have offers to participate in fashion events in London, New York, and Barbados, not to mention a return invitation for Caribbean Fashion Week 2005.

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Thrilla ride

Saucy and stylish Brick & Lace — sisters Tasha, Nyanda, and Nailah Thorbourne, from Kingston, Jamaica — are fighting hard to become the latest sirens of dancehall. First discovered singing in church, they’ve collaborated with artists like Roberta Flack, Dru Hill, and Beres Hammond, and their R&B-dancehall fusion got them close to a record deal with Jive Records. Now blazing up the airwaves with Bad Boy on the Thrilla riddim, the girls are preparing themselves for the deal that will take them through to the big time. “Our sound is something you’ve never heard before,” says Nyanda.

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Reggae boy

Jamaica is a long way from his birthplace in Dulwich, south-east London, but after scoring a goal within minutes of his international debut, followed by the first Reggae Boyz hat-trick in many a year, footballer Marlon King feels as much at home representing Jamaica as anywhere else. Eligible to play for the team via his Jamaican parents, the 24-year-old Nottingham Forest striker impresses fans with his opportunistic finishing. Whether he can score the goals to propel his team to the 2006 World Cup is yet to be seen, but, with five goals in as many games, he is off to a flyer.

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In the headlines

Channel surfers may not realise it, but fresh-faced cable TV reporter Neki Mohan is a true Trini girl, though born in Brooklyn (her family brought her back to Trinidad for school and a solid island upbringing). Familiar to thousands of viewers, Mohan has worked for NBC and CBS affiliates in Cleveland, Miami, Washington, and Los Angeles, covering everything from hurricanes to the Oscars to press briefings at NATO headquarters. In July she moved back to Florida as an anchor on ABC channel WPLG-TV — her second stint in the Miami area. “Few people get the chance to make it to Miami.”

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Fusion master

“People talk about fusion cooking today,” says Orlando Satchell, “but Caribbean cooking is the original fusion.” Born in the UK to St Lucian parents, the senior chef for the Ladera Resort (home of the world-renowned restaurant Dasheene), near Soufrière in south St Lucia, was the first Caribbean chef to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York (Soufrière jangas salad, a coconut and banana brulée). More recently he was named best Caribbean chef for 2003 by the Caribbean Cuisine Consortium.

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