Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Book Spotlight: Long Time Walk on Water by @JoanSimon

Today on the Maze, I am pleased to welcome back the beautiful and talented Dr. Joan B. Simon with another excerpt from her poignant novel about how the humble live while waiting for their dreams to come true.

Long Time Walk on Water by Joan Simon

Emily Thompson, Rose to her friends, emigrates to the motherland, England, in search of a better life for her two young children, whom she is forced to leave behind. It will be hard work for the young mother in this rich man’s country; not only must Rose scrape the money together for a new life, but she must also come to terms with this unknown phenomenon, di Hinglish dem.

James Dunbar. Jack is what he answers to. Picking his way through the mucky incidents of life, he consoles himself that things will get better.

They happen to meet at a bus-stop, Emily and Jack.

An account of the black immigrant experience jostling to find its place among the white working class. A tale of how the humble live whilst waiting for their dreams to come true. A virtuoso performance in which the protagonists slip in and out of names like garments to the same measure that Time shifts like the plates of the earth, Long Time Walk on Water is, above all, an unforgettable love story: the story of a mother’s love and the price her family must pay for generations to come.


The plane landed with a bump. Rose squeezed herself into the seat and when she opened her eyes the plane was still racing along the runway so she dug her forefingers into the rectangular metal ashtrays and closed her eyes once more. She had tried to learn the national anthem in case, after all, how could she just pick up herself and go all that way and not know a thing. Nobody she knew had learnt the British national anthem; they had better things to worry about. United Kingdom. Rose could think of nothing. Two addresses ensconced in a pocket of her handbag, that was it. United Kingdom. Great Britain. The Motherland. Hinglan…

This was it, that moment that had been beckoning her as she stood over the grave of her starved child, for whom the corn she had planted in desperation had not grown quickly enough, despite good J.A. sunshine and her nightly prayers. That moment was now real and rapping at her door. The plane had not crashed, even as it had swooped down over the island, pecking like a famished crow at a crumb. She had not been sucked out of the emergency exit, nor had her food got up of its own accord to float around. And there was air enough for everyone, like in a train, really, only you couldn’t open the windows.

The captain spoke a few words. It was a chilly day in London, they could expect repeated drizzly spells. One or two moans on board, one or two jovial remarks that the captain should take them back.

“Thank you for travelling with us. I hope you had a pleasant journey,” the English stewardess speak like a book.

“Very. Tank yu.” Rose stepped out of the aircraft. Into the Motherland.

Buy links:

About the Author:

Dr Joan Barbara Simon divides her time between researching children’s literacy development and writing fiction. Having obtained her first Ph.D. in educational studies, she’s dared to go for her ultimate challenge: a Ph.D in Creative Writing. Of herself, she says: "I’ve made it my mission to look more closely at undefined spaces as the best way to resist the temptation and comfort of easy answers. I’m interested in a broad range of language issues. Currently wrapping my brain around the political properties of words as polysemic, liminal entities and the nature of their common borders with the visual arts and gendered realities. That said, I’m a nice girl, so talk to me."

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