Bocas Lit Fest

A new season of Bios and Bookmarks premieres this weekend with award-winning author Jacob Ross, creator of a unique Caribbean whodunnit quartet of novels. 

Over the next six Sundays, the series will explore the theme of “Crime and Wonderment” with new and acclaimed writers, including the conjurer of magic and myth, Monique Roffey, whose win of the highly coveted Costa Book of the Year Award earlier this week is still reverberating joyfully around the region.

This season’s inaugural episode delivers another lauded and well-respected writer to audiences in the form of Grenadian Jacob Ross, whose releases in the crime thriller genre have been lapped up by local and international readers, with the first in the series, The Bone Readers (2016) winning the inaugural Jhalak prize in 2017. The follow-up, Black Rain Falling (Hachette, UK), made it onto the UK Guardian’s Best Crime Books of the Month round-up in 2020, as a “compelling drama”.

The rest of the season, the first to stay on theme, will further delve into the crime and suspense realm, but also explore behind the speculative curtain of mythical tales and folkloric imaginations.

The online reading series, conceptualised during the pandemic lockdown in 2020, has easily grown into a fan-favourite, creating a direct link for the public to interact with their favourite writers of new and award-winning books from across the region and the diaspora.

In the previous season, B&B allowed those tuned in to pose questions to authors ranging from youthful Young Adult fiction-writer Tamika Gibson, author of Off Track (2020), to the well-established and beloved Bernardine Evaristo, winner of the 2019 Man Booker Prize with her title Girl, Woman, Other, the first black woman to receive that honour.

Founder and director of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, Marina Salandy-Brown, feels thrilled to see how the series has resonated with booklovers. “It’s wonderful to have been able to create this space so serendipitously, where writers can connect to their audience and vice versa. We receive so many messages of how inspiring these author chats are, and it’s meant the world to us to be able to sustain those essential connections in this new virtual world.”

The season starts on Sunday 31 January 2021, and will feature six different titles and authors weekly, including non-fiction. It is free and open to all via the NGC Bocas Lit Fest’s Facebook page (@Bocas Lit Fest), where viewers are encouraged to engage with the authors.

All previous episodes are archived on our YouTube page for those who would like to catch up.

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