As part of the University of Guyana’s (UG) effort to provide a platform to spotlight creative arts, two authors launched their books, at the Education Lecture Theatre (ELT) last week Monday.
Red Hibiscus written by Scott Ting-A-Kee, a former student of UG and recipient of the Joyce Adler Prize in 2016, contains prose and poetry while Creole Chips edited by Dr. Juanita Cox is a re-publication and compilation of the writings of the late Edgar Mittelholzer.
In brief remarks, UG’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith said that he is happy to be able to shine a light on the works of Guyanese and non-resident Guyanese since it is keeping with the university’s commitment to celebrating creative works.
“What we (UG) are doing here matters and counts because a university should not only be in the business of teaching… what matters for a university is scholarship, arts and is celebrating the people who write… celebrating the people who paint and the people who do creative works such as music and other visual performing areas… that counts and that matters,” Griffith said. This, he said, is to value and purchase their works as well to assist to find other opportunities to spotlight their work.
Ting-A-Kee explained that the novel is an ‘experiment of sorts’ which he contemplated during his third year at the University of Guyana. The publication, he said, is the retelling of the Japanese and Chinese’s history and mythology from his own perspective
“This book, although it is centred around ancient China, Chinese mythology, folklore and religion at its very core it is about the Caribbean and it is about how integral Chinese culture has helped to shape the Caribbean…it is about memory, past and future,” he noted.
Ting-A-Kee noted that his book represents the celebration of his ancestors and personal acceptance of his culture.
Dr. Cox said through her compilation of Mittelholzer’s works – short fiction, poetry, plays and essays – she aims to present his stories in a different light, removed from the negativity that once surrounded the author.
Copies of the books were also presented to the University of Guyana as well as the National Library.
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