Includes a Copy of Pleasantview
Out of stock
Wednesday, 6:30 pm EST - 8:00 pm EST June 8, 2022
The Center for Fiction*
For one evening only, join the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival and The Center for Fiction as we present an in-house book discussion of Pleasantview by Celeste Mohammed. This discussion is part of our celebration of Caribbean American Heritage month.
Written in a combination of English and Trinidad Creole, Pleasantview is a novel of short stories. Though set in Trinidad and Tobago, its examination of universal themes—including the prevalence of matriarchal families in Caribbean communities, the expectations of women in Caribbean societies, and toxic masculinity—makes it a quintessentially Caribbean story. Masterfully written, it is easy for readers to visualize the powerful personality archetypes common to the archipelago and, consequently, the diaspora nations it has birthed.
Led by the novel’s writer, Celeste Mohammed, attendees can expect an engaging conversation and to share ideas that will surely resonate with Caribbean-American diaspora minds. Pleasantview’s colorful characters will make this special edition of the reading group session a highly memorable experience.
For further reading, browse our Library’s Caribbean Fiction Collection, a joint project of BCLF and The Center for Fiction.
*Proof of vaccination is required to attend this in-person reading group. Mask wearing is also required throughout the building. Accepted vaccination proofs include:
- CDC vaccination card (or an image of it)
- Excelsior Pass or Excelsior Pass Plus (or a printout of it)
- A record of vaccination from the healthcare provider who administered your vaccine
Anyone 5 and older is required to show proof of two vaccine doses or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Anyone 18 and older must also present a government issued photo ID.
If you remain unvaccinated because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief, please contact us at [email protected] for assistance or to request a reasonable accommodation.
Celeste Mohammed has been a lawyer since 2001, but she has been telling stories all her life. Celeste’s goal is to dispel all myths about island-life and island-people, and to highlight the points of intersection between Caribbean and North American interests. In particular, she aims to showcase Trinidad’s entrenched political, racial, and class alliances; the generosity (and yet, cruelty) of the average Trini; the sense of optimism (and yet, harsh reality) which permeates everyday interaction; and the musicality and resonance of Caribbean creole (kriol) expression.
Celeste is a lawyer-turned author. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, she graduated from Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, with an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction). Her work has appeared in the New England Review, Litmag, Epiphany, the Rumpus, among other places. She is the recipient of a 2018 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. She was also awarded the 2019 Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction, and the 2017 John D Gardner Memorial Prize for Fiction. She resides in Trinidad and Tobago.
By Celeste Mohammed
Published by IG Publishing
Coconut trees. Carnival. Rum and coke. To many outsiders, these idyllic images represent the so-called easy life in Caribbean nations such as Trinidad and Tobago. However, the reality is far different for those who live there—a society where poverty and patriarchy savagely rule, and where love and revenge often go hand in hand.
Written in a combination of English and Trinidad Creole, Pleasantview reveals the dark side of the Caribbean dream. In this novel-in-stories about a fictional town in Trinidad, we meet a political candidate who sets out to slaughter endangered turtles for fun, while his rival candidate beats his “outside woman” so badly she ends up losing their baby. On the night of a political rally, the abused woman exacts a very public revenge, the trajectory of which echoes through Pleasantview, ending with one boy introducing another boy to a gun and to an ideology which will help him aim the weapon.
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