In commemoration of 400 years of William Shakespeare’s legacy, the Houston Public Library will feature international and national award-winning author Elizabeth Nunez for its Houston Public Library Quarterly Reading Series program happening on Monday, August 1, 2016 at 6:30 PM. Nunez will discuss her latest novel “Even in Paradise” at the University of Houston’s Wortham Theater, 3351 Cullen Blvd., 77024. She will also be signing her book after the presentation. This event is free and open to the public. For more details visit www.houstonlibrary.gov or call 832-393-1652.
About the Book
“Even in Paradise” is a retelling of Shakespeare’s timeless tragic novel “King Lear” but with a bit of a spin. The story takes place in a more contemporary era and in the beautiful Caribbean islands.
Peter Ducksworth, a Trinidadian widower of English ancestry, retires to Barbados, believing he will find an earthly paradise there. He decides to divide his land among his three daughters while he is alive, his intention not unlike that of King Lear, who hoped “That future strife/May be prevented now.” But Lear made the fatal mistake of confusing flattery with love, and so does Ducksworth. Feeling snubbed by his youngest daughter, Ducksworth decides that only after he dies will she receive her portion of the land. In the meantime, he gives his two older daughters their portions, ironically setting in motion the very strife he hoped to prevent.
Beautifully written in elegant prose, this is a novel about greed, resentment, jealousy, betrayal, and romantic love in the postcolonial world of the Caribbean, giving us a diverse cast of characters of African, Indian, Chinese, Syrian/Lebanese, and English ancestry.
About the Author
Elizabeth Nunez immigrated to the United States from Trinidad after completing high school. She is the author of eight novels. “Boundaries” (PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award and nominated for the 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Fiction); “Anna In-Between” (long-listed for an IMPAC Dublin International Award and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal ); “Prospero’s Daughter” (2010 Trinidad and Tobago One Book, One Community selection; New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, 2006 Florida Center for the Literary Arts One Book, One Community selection, and 2006 Novel of the Year for Black Issues Book Review); “Bruised Hibiscus’ (American Book Award); “Discretion” (short-listed for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award); “Grace; Beyond the Limbo Silence” (Independent Publishers Book Award); and “When Rocks Dance.” Most of Nunez’s novels have also been published as audio books, and two are in translation, in Spanish and German. Nunez has also written several monographs of literary criticism published in scholarly journals, and is co-editor of the anthology, “Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Woman Writers at Home and Abroad.”
Nunez was co-founder of the National Black Writers Conference, which she directed for eighteen years with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Reed Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation. She was executive producer for the 2004 Emmy nominated CUNY TV series, Black Writers in America. Her awards include 2013 National Council for Research on Women Outstanding Trailblazer Award; 2013 Caribbean American Distinguished Writer Award; 2012 Trinidad and Tobago Lifetime Literary Award; 2011 Barnes and Noble Poets and Writers, Writers for Writers Award. Nunez is a member of several boards, including the Center for Fiction, and CUNY TV. She is a judge for several national and international literary awards, including the Dublin IMPAC International Literary Award, and gives readings of her work across the country and abroad. Nunez received her PhD in English from New York University. She is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, the City University of New York, where she teaches creative writing, fiction.
About the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 35 neighborhood libraries, four HPL Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. With more than eight million visits per year in person and online, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7.
For further information visit the Houston Public Library at www.houstonlibrary.org on Twitter @houstonlibrary or call 832-393-1313.
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