This is Charmaine Valere's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Charmaine Valere's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Charmaine Valere
Book reviewer / Lit. critic
Interests: Stories from around the world, beer, wine, food
Recent Activity
Early one morning, in February of 2011, we carried pieces of her to a lawyer's office in Newark, New Jersey: a sweater she'd liked, which she wore two sizes too small on her already small frame; a set of car keys, for a car she drove too fast; a picture... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2016 at Charmaine Valere
Marcus Garvey, Claude McKay, Bob Marley, steelpan, calypso, soca, Usain Bolt, Kimani James, Derek Walcott, Earl Lovelace, Edwidge Danticat, Wilson Harris, V.S. Naipaul, Junot Diaz, Toronto, New York, London, Paris, South Africa... "The Caribbean is everywhere and everywhere is the Caribbean," concluded one woman at last Thursday's "Books and Authors"... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2012 at Charmaine Valere
It would be safe to say that the books I'm listing here are probably not the best to be included on any list of books written by Caribbean women which explore / are themed / or can be used to explore the concept of romance--that is, romance as you will... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2012 at Charmaine Valere
Thanks Nicolette! It was great finally meeting you!
1 reply
With the memory of a somewhat irritating time trying to get food between events, and transportation back to my hotel between and after Bocas events, this time around I enquired online about where to eat and how to get around. Me: @bocaslitfest What's transportation like for the festival? --from airport... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2012 at Charmaine Valere
One of the pleasures of reading a poem is discovering new levels of meaning and complexity in its lines almost every time you read it. This continuous discovery ultimately makes reading poetry so much more involving (for me) and (often) more exciting than reading most prose. Of course you can... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2012 at Charmaine Valere
First, an appreciation for the person who so aptly described Fawzia Kane's collection of poems in Tantie Diablesse as "Precise and sensual." I couldn't agree more. There is, for instance, definite precision in the way she can capture and draw out a brief moment, or collapse a longer period of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2012 at Charmaine Valere
The 2012 Bocas Lit Prize is now down to a shortlist of three, each winners in the fiction, nonfiction, and poetry categories. This year's poetry category was an all-woman affair, and the winner (now on the shortlist) is Loretta Collins Klobah for her collection titled The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman. In... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2012 at Charmaine Valere
At age 59, graphic artist Michael thinks he finally understands some things about his life, particularly his married life with his wife Anna of about 30 years or so: It has come to me like a dog comes to its master: tail curled between hind legs, wet muzzle nudging to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2012 at Charmaine Valere
If you guessed from the title that "the ladies are upstairs" may be about division and classification, then you're dead-on. It is probably as predictable a book's title as one could get--predictable about much of its content, at least. Merle Collins's collection of stories gives us protagonists who tell tales... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2012 at Charmaine Valere
I didn't officially mention it, but it's a new year around here and some things I started last year will be continued this year. For starters, the Caribbean Women Writers Romance series I started last year will be a major focus here again this year--once again, with no certain scope... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2012 at Charmaine Valere
I wonder where in the discussion of the condition of books (particularly fiction) in contemporary Nigeria would Karen King-Aribisala's Our Wife and Other Stories fit? The collection of short stories was published in 1990-91 by Malthouse Press (in Nigeria, according to my copy), and won Best First Book (Africa region)... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2012 at Charmaine Valere
Antiguan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse was a guest blogger here last year when she shared her thoughts on the challenges of being a Caribbean writer living in the Caribbean. According to Hillhouse, the first of those challenges is "when your 108 square miles is so far from the world where... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2011 at Charmaine Valere
You can’t spend time reading, rereading, and then writing on a book without feeling as if you’ve gotten a bit closer to the writer herself. And so I feel as if I’ve gotten to know something more than I initially did about the women whose works I featured this year... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2011 at Charmaine Valere
One of the memorable readings at Trinidad's Bocas Lit Fest earlier this year was Barbara Jenkins's reading of her story "Monty and Marilyn." In well-paced and aptly inflected tones she gave us two unforgettable female characters. It was a special invitation into her well-crafted world of intrigue. Bio: After a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2011 at Charmaine Valere
To describe a woman’s writing as sentimental, or as filled with intense feeling (a bad comb-over for sentimental), may still be fighting words in some circles. But though it has been a word used to describe women’s writings (and men’s at times) in a belittling manner, the word sentimental has... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2011 at Charmaine Valere
The writer featured this month is from Puerto Rico. Her story, "Avalanche," was originally written in Spanish, and was submitted to the series in English. The version you will read is additionally adjusted from its original language by my edits; however, I tried to stay as true as possible to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2011 at Charmaine Valere
My favorite short stories work like cinematic vignettes, which is to say that they are essentially portraits or scenes I am pulled into by a purposeful narrator or speaker, who gives me a quick tour or perusal of the scene or portrait, and simultaneously causes me to experience a quick... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2011 at Charmaine Valere
During this month of September, which will bring me cooler weather and a quieter atmosphere for reading and writing (my kids are going back to school), I'm featuring the works of four female poets from the Caribbean. The first is Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, a rising star from Trinidad and Tobago... Bio:... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2011 at Charmaine Valere
It’s been a while since I read one--a very predictable, formulaic contemporary romance novel. From the first connecting glance of its too-beautiful, antagonistic and sexually charged pair of lovers, through its language used to describe the pair’s staged encounters, fraught with drama, and to its happy ending, Liane Spicer’s Café... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2011 at Charmaine Valere
...Christophine came in with our coffee on a tray. She was dressed up and looking very imposing. The skirt of her flowered dress trailed after her making a rustling noise as she walked and her yellow turban was elaborately tied. Long heavy gold ear-rings pulled down the lobes of her... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2011 at Charmaine Valere
I had the pleasure of meeting up with Vincentian writer Debra Providence during Trinidad's Bocas Lit Fest earlier this year and she's every bit the fierce and gentle warrior I envisioned from her writing. Prior to our meeting, I'd been an avid reader of her blog (Writing "D") where she... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2011 at Charmaine Valere
In this second edition of the Caribbean Women Writers series, I'm including the works of five writers who have given me permission to share their unpublished writing with you. In the following story, written by Trinidadian writer Vashti Bowlah, the narrator tells a juicy tale about love and meddling. It... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2011 at Charmaine Valere
One of my recent pleasures has been reading the poems and prose in Caribbean Erotic. So I’ve selected some of the poems in the collection for inclusion in this year’s edition of the Caribbean Women Writers series. Each one I’ve selected uses the erotic in a manner I think is... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2011 at Charmaine Valere
Sometimes a novel can make a powerful romantic statement, which may make it (in part) read like work from the romantic period, though it may not belong in the category of “romance novel.” (The terms romantic and romance as they apply to literature are of course related, but not the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2011 at Charmaine Valere