A Collection of Antiguan short stories has been published just in time for Christmas.
Last year Barbara Arrindell working in association with Edison Liburd produced a colouring book entitled Antigua My Antigua. According to Arrindell 431 copies of the colouring books sold over a period of one year, with both locals and tourists taking an interest in it. This year she has produced a small book consisting of three short stories.
“The Legend of Bat’s Cave and other Antiguan Stories” has been read by a few Antiguan Scholars and is said to give a historical peek into three specific time slots in the nation’s history while providing excellent entertainment for readers of all ages.
The title story, The legend of Bat’s Cave, looks at the lives of the island’s first authorized European settlers and the legend involving the abduction of the Governor’s wife, complete with her eventual love affair with her Kalinago/Carib captor.
Conrad Luke, former editor of the Outlet Newspaper read the stories prior to the book’s publication and spoke of his impression of the second story, “A Bishop without a Cathedral”. He said “ A most interesting historical short story and ever so topical given the present state of the Cathedral”. The second story is told through the eyes of the first bishop of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Of great interest to Luke is the role of the church on the question of slavery and how it (the church) relates to the Black Community.
The third story “Chasing Horses” takes a look at life in Antigua in the 1920’s & 1930’s. “One cannot but take note of the class concerns nicely woven into the story” commented the former Outlet editor. “The gender issue and the role of woman in society which loomed larger then is posed in a most provocative and human way.”
According to the author the outline for “Chasing Horses” and The Legend Of Bat’s Cave” were both written in 2007. The stories were then written and rewritten many times. She says that she stumbled upon some information concerning Bishop Daniel Davis while assisting to design tours of the Cathedral shortly after restoration work began. The little that she read at that time fascinated her so much that Arrindell paid to get access to his hand written letters which are stored in the British Archives. Having sifted through many documents she found a substantial number of them written to his superiors in England reporting on many aspects of life at that time. These letters gave greater insight into his professional and personal life.