by Donna Sealy
Alison Cadogan’s A Winter of Contentment is the type of novel that you can curl up with in bed.
That is if you like historical novels that put you in the colonial period of governors and, where drinking afternoon tea was the norm. And, if you also like tongue-in-cheek, mystery thrillers this story about two friends from England, one of whom once lived New York, who decided to take a vacation in Barbados is a must read. Even though it did not win the first prize in the 15th edition of the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Award, it was enough to earn Cadogan the Prime Minister’s Award.
In fact, there was no first prize awarded as the 11-member committee noted that although there were good writings it was not sustained throughout the novels or bodies of work.
Carlyon Blackman received the second prize for her collection of poems titled (by the committee) Ars Poetica, while Brian Franklyn and Glenville Lovell shared the third prize. Franklyn’s speculative novel is called Iridium, and Lovell’s The Assassination of Luis Posada.
Andy Taitt, who was the master of ceremonies, noted that Barbadian writers who enter their work in the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment should always aim to be the best.
It was not good enough for them to think they were competing against each other in the room or the competition, but all writers in the world.
“When your book gets out there in the so-called real world, which is no realer than Barbados by the way, you don’t want [people] to say ‘This is really a good book for a Barbadian’. They shouldn’t say that, they should say ‘Wow, this is a great book!’. You’re competing with Kamau …,” he said.
“This year we didn’t see any entry like that. We saw a lot of good writing, we saw excellent writing, but we couldn’t find it consistently enough or sustained enough throughout the whole work. But we have faith in you as writers and we look forward to this coming year’s competition to the kinds of amazing things that we have seen from you in the past and we wish you all the best,” Taitt said.
Dorothea Smartt, Britain-born Barbadian international award winning poet, delivered the feature address at the ceremony, which was held at the Grand Salle of the Tom Adams Financial Centre in the City.
During the ceremony, the audience was also treated to excerpts from the prize winning entries. firstname.lastname@example.org