We asked our Bocas Lit Fest followers: what makes an unforgettable Caribbean read?
Inspired by the BBC’s 100 Books That Shaped Our World, published in 2019, we used our social media channels to crowd-source a list of 100 Caribbean books that have meant the most to you (and our region). The result: we crossed 100 books in just over a week’s time! At the end of the campaign in May 2020, more than 300 beloved Caribbean books were named – the stories that hold pride of place on your bookshelves and in your hearts, and a testament to the astounding expanse of literary greatness that is Caribbean literature.
It wasn’t a competition, but an opportunity for you to share your loved literature and what these books mean to you. Our list is not ranked or ordered in any way, but we did keep tabs on how many times each book was named. Multiple genres are represented, spanning generations, styles, settings, and concerns. Some of the themes explored in these fiction, non-fiction, and poetry titles include class division; xenophobia; young love; rural development; exile; colourism; amid so many more.
Throughout the year, we’ll share details about all of the books mentioned during the campaign. In the gallery below, we’re sharing the 24 books that got the most mentions during the five week campaign. Click on the book cover to see more about the book and some of the comments from those who mentioned it.
But it’s not too late to share your thoughts with us on the books already mentioned, just fill in the comment box below. The discussion’s just beginning!