“CANDLES, SONGS, WORDS were the vehicles of memory.” VOICE, MEMORY ASHES: Lest We Forget edited by Jacob Ross and Joan Anim-Addo is a collection of poems, short stories and anthologies expressed through “The voices of poets, storytellers and authors” throughout the African Diaspora.
LEST WE FORGET that each story is a memory, whether painful or joyful, a memory nonetheless. Each memory paints a picture for the reader to become absorbed in the moment. Some stories so vivid that reading it once is quite enough. The raw symbolism peels back the layers of the onion and it depends on the interpretation of the reader to feel what the author was saying. And as with any MEMORY the joy can be just as enjoyable as the pain.
EACH AUTHOR SPEAKS A TRUTH that touches on a common thread that is universal…The human struggle. The basis for VOICE, MEMORY ASHES “Celebrates and pays homage to the collective memory of the Caribbean experience ranging from slavery through to emancipation and the immigration experience, particularly in Britain.”
ON A LIGHTER SIDE it exposes the unfamiliar reader to the West Indian culture and experience. They write of familiar dishes, such as “*split pea soup overflowing with dumplings,” and familiar aromas, such as “**A half-ripe mango and left-over plantain.”
THOUGHTS for your SOUL:
- “Yet, like any group, we deny our history at our peril. And we have only to look at our literature, our oral tradition, our songs, to find that they resonate with specific historical and cultural meanings.”
VOICE, MEMORY ASHES is a vehicle where we are fortunate enough to read about the Caribbean experience through “the diversity of the writing” from each of the twenty-eight contributors. They all have done a fine job of expanding our literary horizons. “*Our songs will never leave you and yours will not leave us . . . My grandmother sings to you as she sings to me… And you my mother have sung to me as I now sing to you.”
Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates VOICES MEMORY ASHES as EASY & ENGAGING (150 pgs or less) . . . straight-forward, light and to the point.
*Excerpts taken from My Grandmother Sings To Me by Maureen Roberts. **Excerpt from Come in from de Rain, Chile by Jane Grell.
Permission granted by Joan Anim-Addo, one of the co-editors.