Author Joan Barbara Simon is here today with 4 Fun Facts and an excerpt from her family saga, Long Time Walk on Water.
Emily Thompson, Rose to her friends, emigrates to the motherland, England, in search of a better life. It will be hard work for the young mother in this rich man’s country; above all she must also come to terms with this unknown phenomenon; di Hinglish dem.
James Dunbar. Jack is what he answers to. Picking his way through the mucky incidents of life, he consoles himself that things will get better.
They happen to meet at a bus-stop, Emily and Jack.
A tale of how the humble live whilst waiting for their dreams to come true.
The door slammed after a quick “Thank you!”, after the taxi-driver had been paid and had winked at her as he drove off, wheeling his vehicle round in a seamless U-turn further down the road.
So, this was Beswick Road. An infantry of redbrick and glass, shoulder to shoulder. Not many people on the street. Not like back home. Pale, lonely-looking, dreary herds had wandered, morosely, past her cab window as cab-man insisted through the London streets to her new home, Hinglan, where the sun seemed to have changed its mind. Rose wondered how on earth it might have come about that such a cold, miserable place be praised melodiously in parishes far and wide for its green and pleasant lands. It began drizzling. Again. Light flakes of water you don’t even notice at first, playing with you, meaning no real harm, but Rose had had her hair done especially, plus her clothes were new, so she picked up her suitcase, pushed open the garden gate and mounted the steps to the front door. A three-storey house with further rooms, it seemed, in the basement.
“Lord have mercy! Dem live undergrown like some sort of animal!”
She pushed the bell marked Brown. It screeched, alarmed, as though Rose had unexpectedly, maliciously, dug her fingernails into its side. No-one came at once.
“If yu tink me ringing dat bell one more time!” she cursed through her bottom lip, taking a step back to crane her neck up at the house. Her new home. She wondered how long for. Another step back and she caught a young black girl sweep the curtains back from a ground floor window, report over her shoulder what she saw, then disappear before she had had the time to catch Rose smooth her skirt out and wait at the bottom of the stairs.
“Juss hopen dat blaasted door before me drench, yaa,” and whilst the cussing came naturally, she had to will her toes down hard against the sole of her shoe to stop her right foot from tapping impatiently that way. Inside the house a door opened. Closed. A key laboured in the lock to keep whatever out of sight. The floorboards creaked all the way to the front door, which inched open just enough to reveal half of a slender young West Indian girl.
‘Beautifully written. Joan Barbara Simon is a wordsmith par excellence.’ (The Sunday Gleaner)
If you, too, enjoyed reading this, here’s where you can read more:
Waterstones, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon France Amazon Germany, and Barnes & Noble.
Dr. Joan Barbara Simon divides her time between researching children’s literacy development and writing fiction. Having obtained her first Ph.D. in educational studies, she’s dared to go for her ultimate challenge: a Ph.D. in Creative Writing. Of herself, she says: ‘I’ve made it my mission to look more closely at undefined spaces as the best way to resist the temptation and comfort of easy answers. I’m interested in a broad range of language issues. Currently wrapping my brain around the political properties of words such as polysemic, liminal entities and the nature of their common borders with the visual arts and gendered realities. That said, I’m a nice girl, so talk to me.’
1. I get my business-related work done more efficiently when I’m stripped down to my underwear.
2. My marriage was annulled by the Catholic church. I find that funny. Not God giveth and God taketh away, but those who claim to act in his name.
3. Tried explaining the idea behind [email protected] to a man the once. The idea of intellectual erotica left him baffled. I tried to elaborate but could do nothing to dispel his bewilderment. Exasperated, I declared: ‘High-brow rumpy-dumpy’.
He got it. And I got a new reader.
4. My daughters hate it when I wear Chanel N.5. They call it ‘jus de mamie’ (granny juice). My children grew up in France, where any old woman who has two centimes to rub together will have a bottle of Chanel N.5 on her dresser. I’m too young, my girls insist, to smell like they do!
Find Joan online at:
Twitter @JoanBSimon https://twitter.com/JoanBSimon
Joan, this book sounds marvelous, and I love the Chanel No. 5 story. I had a friend once whose grandson objected when he learned she used Oil of Olay, which he called Oil of Old Lady. Kids are the same everywhere.
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Linda / Lyndi
Thanks for featuring my book, Linda! Hope the lingo doesn’t trip anyone up. Rose is a simple, hard-working woman from Jamaica. It wouldn’t be true to her if I made her speak like the Queen of England. There are two quite different dialects in this novel; Jamaican English and London Cockney. By the end of the book, you’ll master and love them both -:)
by the way, Oil of Olay’s on my dresser too! lol
I love the way Rose talks. The Jamaican accent has such a lovely cadence to it and I can hear it in her dialogue and thoughts.
To this day, I don’t always understand everything my grandfather says. My sister and I would throw each other a look (‘what’s he on about?’), shrug a ‘dunno’, then get back to our game. Never mind. The lilt of their talk, their revival of old-time stories, stayed with me. And it’s music, you’re right about that!
I find the accent very musical, though not always easy to understand. It’s cool that the stories stayed with you.
My mother’s mother was born in the north of England and still had a bit of an accent, including the occasional dropped “aitch”.