Book Launching of the newest publication of "The Orchid House"

Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 May 2016 Published: Tuesday, 03 May 2016 Written by Elleen Commodore

On Thursday 21 April 2016, the 4th and 5th Form Literature students of the Convent High School, attended the Academic Presentation and Book Launching of “The Orchid House”.  A novel by Dominican Poet, Author, and Politician: Phyllis Shand Allfrey.  This event was facilitated by Dominican scholar, Dr. Schuyler Esprit, who wrote the Introduction to this newest publication of this very perceptive novel.

Among those who attended the event was Ms. Polly Patullo of Papillote press, the publisher of this new publication of the novel. She gave us insight into how this novel journeyed into being claimed by and published for Dominicans. Also present were Dr. Lennox Honychurch, Dr. Donald Peter, as well as students of the Dominica State College, and the Pierre Charles Secondary School.

Phyllis Shand Allfrey, who was the author of the novel, was born and laid to rest in Dominica (1915 - 1986).  This politician has a very rich history.  During his presentation, Dr. Honychurch, gave students a very detailed and insightful visual recollection of Mrs. Allfrey.  Further, Mr. Honeychurch said that Mrs. Allfrey was never too certain about her actual age, but she was certain of the fact that she wanted to put Dominica on the map.  Although many scholars have been associated with Dominica, in regards to Literature and other art forms, Ms. Allfrey is one of the two authors, who is internationally recognized; another being Jean Rhys.

In an attempt to further publicize this novel along with those of other Dominican authors, Dr. Esprit in collaboration with a group of students at the college, have begun the construction of a website. On this website, viewers will be able to read about novels and their authors from Dominica, and be able to read a brief summary about the novels.  

In closing, Dr. Esprit donated a few copies of the novel to the schools present and urged students to get their hands on a copy of the book. Dominica is a place of very talented and intelligent people, and it is up to us, to show the world our capabilities.

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