By Petamber Persaud
On Wednesday November 12, 2008, Ruby Ramraj of the University of Calgary presented a lecture, ‘Power Relationships and Femininity in Nalo Hopkinson’s The Salt Roads’.
This lecture took place in the west wing of the National Library to a small, appreciative gathering. It was a womb of expectation and an evening for the liberation of and redirecting of the imagination.
Nalo Hopkinson is among the forerunners of such writing in the Caribbean. Born in Jamaica in 1960 now resident in Canada, she lived as a child for a while in Guyana; she is the daughter of Guyanese poet and actor Abdur Rahman Slade Hopkinson.
Hopkinson has four novels to her credit (‘Brown Girl in the Ring’, ‘Midnight Robber’, ‘The Salt Roads’, ‘The New Moon’s Arms’) and a collection of stories, ‘Skin Folk’.
Hopkinson has edited two fiction anthologies, ‘Whispers from the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction’ and ‘Mojo: Conjure Stories’.
She has also published numerous stories and essays. Some of her writings have been translated from English to Spanish, French and Finnish.
Hopkinson has a bundle of awards to her name. She is the recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Ontario Arts Council Foundation Award for Emerging Writers.
‘Brown Girl in the Ring’ was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award in 1998, and received the Locus Award for Best New Writer.
‘Midnight Robber’ was shortlisted for the James R. Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award in 2000 and nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2001.
‘Skin Folk’ received the World Fantasy Award and the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic in 2003 and the Gaylactic Spectrum Award.
The ‘New Moon’s Arms’ received the Aurora Award and the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Hopkinson has a Master of Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.
Ruby Ramraj has taught in the Department of English, University of Calgary, Canada, since the 1980s. Her areas of interest are Victorian literature, Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Postcolonial literature.
She has presented papers and published articles on Neil Bissoondath, Isaac Asimov, Robert Sawyer, Jessica Hagedorn, Sara Suleri, Meena Alexander, Olive Senior, and Amitav Ghosh.
Her publications include several articles on Nalo Hopkinson — in the British SF journal Foundation (2004), in Worlds of Wonder: Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing (2007), edited by Lee Easton, and in Canebrakes (2008), edited by Emily Williams.
She is currently working on postcolonial Science Fiction. B.A. (Hons) English University of London MA (English) University of New Brunswick. Ruby is married to Guyanese-born Professor Victor Ramraj of the University of Calgary.
Responses to this author telephone (592) 226-0065 or email: [email protected]
• Coming in December: A Festival of Words, part II; please contact me for further information.
• Check out the National Book Fair 2008 at Wisburg Secondary School, Wismar, Linden, on December 2 & 3, 2008. Take this opportunity to also see some of the books launched at Carifesta X.
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