Angela Barry To Launch ‘The Drowned Forest’

July 13, 2022 | 0 Comments

Angela Barry will be launching her latest book, titled The Drowned Forest, on July 15.

A spokesperson said, “On July 15, Angela Barry will be launching her latest book, published by the UK’s Peepal Tree Press. The Bermuda launch will be followed by an international online launch organised by the publisher.

“Titled The Drowned Forest, this is a work of fiction set in Bermuda, focusing on the complex relationships of the island’s diverse peoples and the impact of its equally multi-faceted environment.

“The publisher describes the novel as ‘a potent metaphor of long-term climate change against which to measure the alarms, resentments and hopes of future possibilities expressed by her characters as they respond to Bermuda’s emergence from colonial status. Modernity brings challenges to the old racial, cultural and religious hierarchies that have dominated the island.’

Angela Barry and Jacob Ross at the Bermuda launch of So Many Islands, an anthology to which they both contributed:

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“Jacob Ross, Associate Editor of Fiction at Peepal Tree Press, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and an award-winning Grenadian author living in Britain will be in Bermuda for the launch.

“He is a long-time colleague, supporter and collaborator of Dr. Barry. Booker Prize winner Bernadette Evaristo describes Ross as ‘a truly amazing writer.’ In 2018, Mr. Ross was in Bermuda as Writer in Residence, organised by the Department of Cultural and Community Affairs.

“During this visit, in addition to speaking about Dr. Barry’s work at the July 15 launch at the BUEI auditorium, he will conduct a public presentation for writers and aspiring writers at the Bermuda College Library on July 19.

The Drowned Forest takes readers on a journey – from an ancient, twisted root lifted from its ocean depths to the tangled relationships of the island’s people; from the beauty of the manicured wealthy properties to the humble areas where family ties can be tested to the limit.

“The clash of cultures is told through a group of characters brought together in shared responsibility for Genesis, a young Black adolescent girl on the verge of incarceration as a juvenile offender, and by Genesis herself. There is Nina, from the respectable Black middle-class, with her own prickly uncertainties and moral hang-ups; Lizzie, fighting for her own space in a Portuguese family railing against changing times; Tess, battling with guilt over her white privilege and her reluctance to lose its benefits; and Hugh, a young Welshman who has come to the island to find himself.”

“Peepal Tree Press notes that Angela Barry weaves a rich and absorbing narrative in which these different perspectives – insider / outsider, youth / age, Black / white – are each given sympathetic space and a convincing sense of growth through the span of the novel. Above all, in the character of Genesis, Barry creates a dynamic and winning portrayal of the energies, hopes, conscience and vulnerabilities of youth. Beyond the human world with all its divisions, there are the little-known islands of Bermuda, for whose stunning beauties and sometimes urban ugliness Barry has a vividly descriptive eye.

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“Bermudian by birth, Dr. Barry lived abroad for more than 20 years – in England, France, The Gambia, Senegal and the Seychelles – before returning to Bermuda, where she worked as a lecturer until retiring in 2016. She is the author of Endangered Species and Other Stories [2002] and a novel, Goree: Point of Departure [2010]. She is a contributor to the anthology, So Many Islands [2018] and New Daughters of Africa [2019].

“Both events are free and open to the public; registration is required. Book launch with Angela Barry at BUEI, 6pm on July 15, click here to register.

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