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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Of Water and Rock: The launch, Tuesday March 8 at the University

ArtsEtc will be hosting the Barbados launch of Thomas Armstrong’s award-winning novel, Of Water and Rock.

The launch is part of a busy 2011 season for ArtsEtc which sees it hosting Green Readings for the fourth consecutive year (stay tuned for more news of that), and pursuing a range of independent publishing and creative projects.

We are particularly proud and excited to be associated with Thomas Armstrong and the launch of his debut novel which has been provoking passionate reviews and response since its May 2010 publication by DC Books in Montreal.

(Click here to read what Philip Nanton had to say about it in the Caribbean Review of Books; and here to read in full Frank Birbalsingh’s review in Indo-Caribbean World.)

Of Water and Rock – which was shortlisted for Barbados’ Frank Collymore Endowment Award (2nd Place), and won the George Lamming Prize (NIFCA 2010) – offers a wondrous, humorous look at Torontonian Edward Hamblin’s first trip to Barbados. It’s just after Independence, and Edward has come to reclaim his Bajan roots: his Great Aunt Sarah’s cottage at Hamblin Hall. Soon an odd fit among an endearing group in the adjoining village, he literally unearths a secret about his family’s heritage that will rock the foundations of his beliefs and those of his newfound friends on the island. Armstrong’s ear for the cadences of the heart and the rhythms of a people lend understated grace and authenticity to a novel of powerful feeling and true redemption.

About the author:

Canadian Thomas Armstrong visited Barbados for the first time in 1979 and fell in love with more than the island. From the very first, the island and its people impressed upon him a sense of time and place that was both wondrous and sad. Married to a Barbadian in 1980, it wasn’t until the passing of his wife’s parents and of his own father that Armstrong began to write. Penning his father’s eulogy ignited an undiscovered passion. He dedicated a short story, “Flying in God’s Face,” later published in Poui, the literary journal of the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill), to his mother-in-law, the matriarchal head of his Barbadian family. It became the seed from which his first novel, Of Water and Rock, would grow. Armstrong is educated in Mathematics and Science, currently makes a living as a software developer, and divides his time between Canada and Barbados. He is still married and has two children and is working on his next novel.

Of Water and Rock will be launched in Barbados on Tuesday, March 8 at the University Bookstore on Cave Hill Campus at 4:30 p.m. Come, meet Tom and talk to him about his writing. We look forward to seeing you there. Dress: elegantly casual; refreshments served. For more information on obtaining copies of the book, please contact the author at thomas.armstrong@sympatico.ca or email artsetc@sunbeach.net – LMD

Of Water and Rock; Thomas Armstrong (DC Books, Montreal 2010) (ISBN 978-1-897190-59-3)

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