This morning saw the launch of Belizean author, Ivory Kelly’s second work of fiction. Her latest book of short stories is entitled “Pengereng,” and, as we told you yesterday, it is a Belizean Kriol word that refers to the sound something makes when it hits the floor. Figuratively, it refers to an upheaval or disturbance. Kelly’s work is the first of its kind, as it includes a story written completely in the standard Kriol language. At the launch, Kelly was able to tell us why she chose to write in Kriol.
Ivory Kelly – Belizean Author: “The books are something that I have been working on for the past ten years. I have completed what I call the manuscript for my second book, it is a collection of short stories. I started shopping the book around to try and find a publisher around last year so in the meantime it occurred to me that a couple of the stories in that collection spoke in interesting ways to each other. They had a lot of similarities, including the fact that the protagonist in both stories face a situation in life where everything goes awry, everything just goes pengerang, so lots of echoes between the two stories. I decided to compile those two stories “Still Born” and “Dear Editor” into a slim volume. At the same time I had begun the process of teaching myself how to read and write in Creole. I thought that this would be a great opportunity for me to get some real practice writing in creole and I decided to translate the longer of the two stories in creole using the standardized system. The first story “Still Born” started out as a class project when I did my graduate studies. I majored in creative writing and so I had an assignment to write, a real story, a memoir actually. It started as a memoir and I was delving into some of my own experiences as a mother so that was a real story that got set aside and I decided to involve it into fiction. The story “Dear Editor” which I mentioned inside was inspired by the actual 2009 incident in which this Mayan baby in rural Toledo died at the PG Hospital. It just speaks to some of the brokenness in our public systems. As well as you will see in the story, in my fictionalized version of the story the couple is a Kekchi Mayan couple and you will see that they experience racism, glaring racism at the hands of the nurses at the hospital.”
The book will be available tomorrow at the Image Factory in Belize, as well as at Brodies, and Dakers Stationary in Belmopan. By next weekend, it is expected that the book will be available on Amazon in paperback and e-book. The cost of Pengereng is twenty dollars./////////