When you come proverbially from way behind god’s back in a place called Princes Town and your book ends up on the NY shelves of the eminent and prestigious Barnes and Noble (the Harvard, Oxford and Rolls Royce of booksellers) is it excessive if one is tempted to flap one’s wings and crow like a rooster – especially when a local bookseller refuses to carry your book – not because it was not up to his stratospheric high standards, but simply because the book’s own stratospheric high standard was just too transcendent for him, for his delusions of grandeur – he being one of those who feels if its local it couldn’t be good – although one of our locals had already got a Nobel prize and Bollywood continues to unabashedly plagiarise our local chutney music et al.
I kind of remember that some years ago, local booksellers had agreed to reserve space (not in their basement stockroom but conspicuous showroom prominence) to local writers in their outlets and not discriminate against us because we were not published internationally by a traditional publisher. Fact is, I have actually and verifiably refused traditional publishers’ offers because of my narcissism, because I know (ahem) how good I am and because I find it demeaning to have some two-bit editor sitting in his ivory tower in New York or London dump my manuscript simply because he thinks its third world and not deserving of his time or whatever.
Amazon. Com is an ideal publishing house for me as they have a more enlightened, egalitarian approach to this business, and although you still have to meet their requirements for excellence, they do not approach it from a nitpicking high and mighty hawk and spit way.
So this is my fourth book with them – with two, via them, reaching the shelves of Barnes and Noble. I have had two books released in the last two months as my literary assembly line continues apace to roll out pages because I dare say I am a writer in the spirit of T20 cricket – although Trinis seem to think that one is fast and out of place to choose such a career that belongs singularly to the pen of (Caucasians) who reside in the metropolitan capitals of the world and not to (little) brown or black boys from the pitch lake country.
So if you are in NY and you are strolling by pass Barnes and Noble, kindly pop in and see if my book is there (am joking, lol) as I used to do once upon a time when I was there to see if any of our local writers was so honored. I never thought that one day I’ll be there too urging people to check me out. And for those who refuse to review it here, acceptance by Barnes and Noble is plenty review, eh? Sounds too grandiose?
As a footnote of sorts, though not in italics, but for those Trinis who wouldn’t read me, here’s an anecdote of a local politician who was the house guest of a Sri Lankan Professor in his country and was (excitedly, I was told) informed by the Professor that he wished to show him a book written by one of his Trini countrymen and when our politico saw it was one of my books (yes, mine) he told me that after stopping me in traffic, that at that moment being a Trini evoked such a patriotic feeling in him – especially that he knew me personally and could boast to his host that tidbit – that it made not just his day but his stay.
I, too, would see one of my books on the shelf at a host’s house in NY and thought how a writer is not read in his own country – especially, if he is a Trini – but outside there is some measure of appreciation of his books, perchance of him, too, ent?
L. Siddhartha Orie