I recently came back from a trip to New York and I’m currently on spring break. I hope to use this week to not only study, but to also catch up on some casual reading because I bought some new books but haven’t had the time to read them as yet. Thinking about this and trying to come up with a new blog topic baha-related, made me think about the Bahamian books I’ve read over the years. Honestly, there haven’t been many. Bahamians sometimes seem allergic to reading and thus there is a void in the Bahamian literature arena because we know that Bahamians aren’t doing much reading so it can be a downer for future Bahamian authors who want to be successful writers back home.
In high school, the one Bahamian book I remember reading in literature class was Woman Take Two by Telcine Turner. It was a play set in The Bahamas about what people would do for love and money. Which reminds me, I should probably purchase it and add to my reading collection to read again some time. But beyond this, there was the typical historical books for social studies class like The M aking of The Bahamas by Paul Albury things like that.
There was also a set of books that we had to read to prepare us for the BJC and BGCSE exams (which are our version of state exams taken in 9th and 12th grades). Lord of the Flies, Raisin in the Sun, To Kill a Mockingbird, Things Fall Apart, MacBeth etc… Although those books were interesting and gives students a broader knowledge, I still think we should have read more Bahamian literature (if there was even more to choose from).
Here’s a link for Bahamian students that looks at many of the literature used for BGCSE exams.
As I am away at college and lecturers mention books and things, I wish that I could read those books, or had the time to. I was always an avid reader as a kid and I’m still so amazed at how much free knowledge is available in libraries and things but my people don’t like to read. I can only hope that as future generations graduate, more Bahamian writers, venture out there and tell their stories, tell our stories. Create material for future high school students to read and study. The Bahamas may be a young country in terms of independence, but there are stories to be told. Stories, that will die with the brilliant minds they are in. Stories that may sit and rot on a shelf because people would rather surf the internet aimlessly for hours rather than spend 1 hour in a good book.
Tomorrow, I begin reading Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin (non-Bahamian, non-fiction, young adult book). What are you reading?