cover image So Many Islands

So Many Islands

Edited by Nicholas Laughlin, with Nailah Folami Imoji. Peekash, $17.95 trade paper (220p) ISBN 978-1-61775-670-2

The 17 selections of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in this vibrant collection unite the voices of islanders from around the globe, complete with an excellent introduction by Marlon James. The writers hail from the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean, and beyond. In her afterword, Sia Figiel describes the Samoan art of su’ifefiloi, “the art of sewing one flower to another and another,” which also describes the practice of connecting one song to another, a perfectly apt image for this work. In “Coming Off the Long Run,” Cecil Browne of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines makes clear the excitement of the sport of cricket, regardless of the reader’s prior knowledge. “Neo-Walt Village Combing” and “1980s Pacific Testing,” pointed poems by Mere Taito of Rotuma Island in Fiji and Fetuolemoana Elisara of Samoa, respectively, deal with two depredations by Western cultures: cultural appropriation by Disney and the vast harm caused by French nuclear tests in the Pacific. “Something Tiny” by Cypriot writer Erato Ioannou describes the present-day reverberations of the Cypriot war of 1974, while the essay “Unaccounted For” by Tracy Assing from Trinidad and Tobago details the continuing lack of Western acknowledgement of the native population. Readers encounter the language, customs, and flora and fauna of many island nations in this delightful and enlightening volume, an invitation to share and experience islands around the globe. (July)