Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (July 10, 2012): After teaching English and Fiction Writing at the University College of the Cayman Islands, heading the Caribbean Reading Club at Books & Books, and hosting a number of writersâ€™ workshops at the Camana Bay bookstore, Keith Jardim left Grand Cayman in the summer of 2010 to pursue education and writing in other parts of the world. Returning for the first time since his departure, the author will visit Books & Books on Monday, July 23 at 7pm to share his new book, Near Open Water: Stories.
This free event will include an author presentation, group discussion and book signing.
About the Book
These stories present, in writing that is both meticulous and poetic, a Caribbean world of unparalleled natural beauty, and societies that seethe on the edge of chaos, where crime encompasses both the rulers and the ruled, and where representatives of the state are as out of control as the youth Cynthia witnesses hacking off the hand of an old woman in a casual robbery. We enter this world through the perceptions of both those struggling for survival at the base of society and members of the old elite facing the consequences of past privilege in the reality of present insecurity. The stories stare hard into the abyss, at times taking us to hallucinatory places where nothing is certain. What is certain is the energy and precision in the storiesâ€™ subtle edge of moral rigour in exploring the inner lives of those who fail to see that their â€śminorâ€ť deceits and evasions contribute to the â€śfire in the cityâ€ť. In such sympathetically drawn characters as Nello, the former car-thief now trying to do the right thing, or the memorably eccentric Dr Edric Traboulay with his intimate relationship to the natural world, we are offered glimpses of possibility. This is fiction that calls a society to see itself clearly, though about the revelatory power of writing the author is modestly ambivalent, as the powerful title story so shockingly reveals.
â€śThe sense of place is fabulous, interweaving vistas of landscape and seascape, local fauna and flora, architecture, politics, inhabitants, historyâ€¦ all of which creates an atmosphere of longing and despair â€“ despair at the impossibility of ever achieving what is longed forâ€¦ The stories play nicely with the disjunction between place as redemptive and place as punitive/purgatorial. The sense of foreboding that pervades all of the stories is impelled by this tensionâ€¦ the work is â€śpostcolonialâ€ť in the very best sense of that critical label.â€ť â€“ Lois Parkinson Zamora
Near Open Water: Stories is now available at Books & Books.
About the Author
Keith Jardim attended Emerson College, where he earned a Merit Fellowship for his M.F.A. He has won a James Michener Fellowship, The Paul Bowles Fiction Award, and a C. Glenn Cambor Fellowship. He is a graduate of the University of Houstonâ€™s writing program and his work was a finalist for the American Short Fiction Contest and the Glimmer Train Open Fiction Contest. His stories have appeared in Mississippi Review, Denver Quarterly, The Antigonish Review, and Wasafiri, among other publications.
- â€˘ Books & Books was one of the first shops to open at the Town Centre of Camana Bay; Grand Cayman’s new shopping and entertainment destination. The store is designed to encourage customers to explore and creates a sense of discovery with a large section dedicated to Caymanian authors, as well as a vast number of titles of Caribbean interest. A light and airy room dedicated to children has a particularly impressive selection of picture books in addition to toys, educational games and books for kids of all ages. The new and notable fiction section includes New York Times bestsellers, while the arts room has a comprehensive collection of architecture, design, photography and gardening books.