Story inspired by her deep desire to know what life was like for the indigenous people of her home country…
Special to The CONTACT
Caribbean literature has gained an exciting new addition with the release of a historical fiction novel by Vincentian writer, poet and journalist Peggy Carr.
Set in the Caribbean in the pre-Columbian era, SHAPE OF A WARRIOR is a captivating tale about the indomitable spirit of a young adventurer and her unlikely friend in the battle-centered world of the indigenous Kalina people.
Written for a young adult audience, the coming-of-age story is told in soaring language about the escapades, struggles and challenges of the two main characters, Yurubi and Aloo, on the island of Hiroon.
“For Yurubi, who dreams of boat building, Aloo grows to become a friend like no other, although he’s terrified of the sea. Together, they secretly explore the forest near his cave hideout, learn to make weapons and tools, play wrestling games, hunt, and build small river boats. But their world of adventure crumbles when Aloo is forced out of hiding and as Yurubi’s unwomanly skills become apparent. Under the cryptic eye of the village shaman, Yurubi and Aloo struggle against their anguish, fears and misgivings to fight for a place on an island that’s home to some of the most fearsome warriors on Earth,” according to the blurb on the back cover of the book.
In the Author’s Note, Carr says the story was inspired by her deep desire to know what life was like for the indigenous people of her home country, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Hiroon), before the arrival of the Europeans.
“Almost every account I had read of the Kalina was written by a European – a sailor, a soldier, a missionary or a settler – and obviously had been filtered through the lenses of their own cultural and societal norms. There was very little on record that reflected the perspective of the early Kalina people,” she says.
“That led me to ponder the words of American author Toni Morrison: ‘If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it,’” Carr says.
SHAPE OF A WARRIOR is Carr’s first novel. She is a journalist and an accomplished poet, whose poems have been published worldwide. Carr is currently based in Taiwan, where she works as a news editor and serves as a Cultural Ambassador of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Her latest book is available in Kindle and paperback formats on Amazon marketplaces internationally and will soon be in bookstores in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It can also be ordered from the Dominica-based publisher, Emmanuel Publishing House.