Bocas Lit Fest

harold sonny ladoo

Just in time for the upcoming celebrations of Trinidad and Tobago’s 60th anniversary of Independence, a new podcast series from the NGC Bocas Lit Fest explores the country’s rich literary heritage.

Launched on Friday 15 July, the 100 Caribbean Books That Made Us podcast explores how iconic, classic books of past decades have influenced and inspired writers of today.

In the premiere episode, T&T writer Kevin Jared Hosein — a past winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize — talks about the celebrated novel No Pain Like This Body by the late Harold Sonny Ladoo. First published in 1972, and set in a turn-of-the-century Indo-Trinidadian farming community, No Pain Like This Body has influenced two generations of subsequent writers, and was recently republished by the international imprint Vintage Classics.

The new podcast series is the latest iteration of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest’s ongoing 100 Caribbean Books That Made Us project. Released in April 2021, the 100 Caribbean Books That Made Us is a list of literary works in all genres — poetry, fiction, and non-fiction — crowdsourced by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest with input from readers across the Caribbean and its diasporas. Its aim is to celebrate the region’s literary heritage, and introduce new readers — both Caribbean and international — to the diverse voices and themes of Caribbean writing.

In the first phase of the 100 Caribbean Books That Made Us podcast, Bocas has commissioned contemporary writers from T&T to consider classic books from the crowdsourced list, with the series premiere timed to coincide with this year’s Independence anniversary. Upcoming episodes — to be released monthly — will focus on books by authors such as Samuel Selvon, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Dionne Brand.

The podcast is just one of several NGC Bocas Lit Fest initiatives to mark the 60th anniversary of Independence, with other projects and events to be announced in August.

The 100 Caribbean Books That Made Us podcast is powered by The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited

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