– Gan­dolph St. Clair

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Lo­cal poet, play­wright, ac­tor and singer Gan­dolph St. Clair has been prac­tis­ing his tal­ents and is due to launch his new book, The Cal­abash Tree, in the near fu­ture. I had the priv­i­lege of read­ing it be­fore most peo­ple and I think it cap­tures a truly Saint Lu­cian sense. With In­de­pen­dence Day right around the cor­ner, I thought it would be a nice time to in­tro­duce his col­lec­tion to our au­di­ence.

Gan­dolph St. Clair was schooled in Saint Lu­cia and then stud­ied Di­rect­ing at the Ja­maica School of Drama, and the in­flu­ence of his cul­ture proudly shows in his work. Which is why the col­lec­tion is named ‘The Cal­abash Tree’, after our lush na­tional tree.

‘The Cal­abash Tree’ in­cludes an in­tro­duc­tory short story plus pre­vi­ously pro­duced plays and se­lected po­ems.

The short story re­counts the event­ful life of a young boy liv­ing in Cas­tries. St. Clair talks about the boy’s fam­ily, the wel­com­ing of his younger sib­ling, play­ing mas and other events up un­til the death of his beloved grand­mother. His style of writ­ing puts the reader in a re­flec­tive mood, help­ing one en­vi­sion what life in the streets of Cas­tries was like in the lat­ter half of the 1900s.

The other pieces fea­tured in ‘The Cal­abash Tree’ had pre­vi­ously been rec­og­nized lo­cally and re­gion­ally with awards for St. Clair’s style and cre­ativ­ity. Now it’s easy to find them all in one book!

- - CE

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