Caribbean: The Lesser Antilles - Insight Guides (2016)
History and Society
Traveller’s History of the Caribbean, by James Ferguson.
A Short History of the West Indies, by J.H. Parry, Philip Sherlock, and Anthony Maingot.
A Brief History of the Caribbean: From the Arawak and Carib to the Present, by Jan Rogonzinski.
The Slave Trade, by Hugh Thomas.
Last Resorts, The Cost of Tourism in the Caribbean, by Polly Pattullo.
A Field Guide to Reefs of the Caribbean and Florida, by Eugene H. Kaplan.
Birds of the West Indies, by Herbert Raffaele et al.
Caribbean Wild Plants and Their Uses, by Penelope N. Honychurch.
The Gardens of Dominica, by Polly Pattullo and Anne Jno Baptiste.
The Complete Diving Guide, Caribbean Volume I, by Colleen Ryan and Brian Savage.
Complete Guide to Diving and Snorkelling Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, by Jack Jackson.
Caribbean Afoot!: A Walking and Hiking Guide to Twenty-Nine of the Caribbean’s Best Islands, by M. Timothy O’Keefe.
75 Years of West Indies Cricket, 1928-2003, by Ray Goble and Keith A.P. Sandiford.
An Illustrated History of Caribbean Football, by James Ferguson.
A House for Mr Biswas, by V.S. Naipaul. Classic, bittersweet account of a Trinidadian man’s search for security.
The Lonely Londoners, by Samuel Selvon. Comic masterpiece of a Trinidadian immigrant’s life in 1950s London.
The Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys. An atmospheric prequel to Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre, partly set on the island of Dominica.
The Orchid House, by Phyllis Shand Allfrey. Acclaimed novel of family tensions and colonial decline in Dominica.
In the Castle of My Skin, by George Lamming. Growing up in a 1930s Barbadian village during the demise of colonialism. A novel of adolescence and political awakening.
A State of Independence, by Caryl Phillips. A wry study of small-island politics and an exile’s return to his homeland.
Omeros, by Derek Walcott. Contemporary working of Homeric epic by St Lucian Nobel Prize-winning poet.
The Dragon Can’t Dance, by Earl Lovelace. A story of life in a shanty town on Trinidad which captures all the exuberance of the island’s Carnival.
The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse in English, ed. Paula Burnett. The best available collection of verse from English-speaking Caribbean poets.
Tree of Life, by Maryse Condé. A tale of several generations of a Guadeloupean family.
Tide Running, by Oonya Kempadoo. Two young men growing up on Tobago find their lives and desires confused by the arrival of a well-to-do family, and have to confront relationships, wealth and responsibility.
The White Woman on a Green Bicycle, by Monique Roffey. British newly-weds arrive in Trinidad in the 1950s. He relishes the ex-pat life but she has difficulty adjusting in the context of the rise of black power and the difficulties faced by Eric Williams, the first prime minister, to whom she writes secret letters she never sends.
Learie Constantine, by Peter Mason. An overwhelmingly popular and talented Trinidadian cricketer, Learie Constantine (1901-71) paved the way for a new generation of black cricketers in a game dominated by whites. He went on to become a barrister, the Trinidadian High Commissioner in London, a cabinet minister, broadcaster, author, journalist and the first black man to enter the House of Lords, tirelessly campaigning for racial equality and West Indian self-government.
Awakening Spaces: French Caribbean Popular Songs, Music and Culture, by Brenda Berrian. The development of the diverse music scene in the French islands is traced through zouk, the beguine, jazz, ballads and reggae. Through interviews and analysis of lyrics Berrian explores the musicians’ feelings on exile, desire, creole identity and subversion.
Carnival, Canboulay and Calypso: Traditions in the Making, by John Cowley. An historical analysis of the rise of Carnival during the time of slavery, and the emergence of calypso as the popular music of Trinidad’s Carnival up to 1920.