Saturday, April 7, 2012

Celebrating Love: Gerald's & Lorry's; and Mine for TIME SWIMMER

Book ISBN: 9781405098984

Available in T&T at RIK Stores

Celebrating Love: Gerald's & Lorry's; and Mine for TIME SWIMMER

Gerald Hausman and his wife Lorry have been "Earning a Loving" (see my last post) for a lifetime. Together they are authors of more than 70 books, of which 35 have won awards. Their work includes adult novels, poetry and children's books. They celebrate their fruitful union annually, not only on their wedding anniversary but on Good Friday. It was the day they first met in the Gallinas Canyon outside of Las Vegas, New Mexico 46 years ago.
"Some friends had a campfire by the river but we chose to climb above to the bare rocks where the ancient flume wound around the cliff walls.......Devout, strained voices came and went on the wind. Moorish chants from another time, a world away. We sat quiet, listening, penitents ourselves. Holding hands, in love. In canyon time." BLOG ON FOR MORE:
Gerald's TIME SWIMMER, I must confess, is one of my favorite ISLAND FICTION titles. 
Like a parent of six children, choosing favorites is never PC, I know, but in celebrating the gift of each one,  I extol the family group of the Island Fiction series. 
With Time Swimmer, Hausman has created a worthy, cinematic classic for the new genre of  Caribbean Young Adult fantasy-fiction.
Hausman gracefully balances the fine edge between turning on teens and respecting 'grown up' concerns; managing without any self-consciousness, to both color in the lines and break free of  conservative constraints. Through a kind of juicy, self-containment he has crafted an ageless, timeless fable. 
Hausman's poetic prose transcends gender, culture and target market. In-keeping with the oral tradition of West Indian storytelling, TIME SWIMMER is a read aloud that never stoops to gimmicks, nor employs dialect alone to prove itself worthy of a place in our culture. (Not that any other Island Fiction author ever did either - this is criteria for inclusion on the list.)
There is something about Jamaican, eleven-year-old Luke's triumphant  journey home to self that not only stays with me, but lives in me somehow. There is a universal sense of fragility here that is so emotionally compelling.
TIME SWIMMER begins with a noose and a juicy mango as the boy's supposed last meal, but the first chapter closes with Luke's heroic rescue of a turtle which is about to be butchered on the beach below. Spontaneously, and in desperation to escape his own axe, (he has failed the Common Entrance exam), he mounts its back and finds himself swimming through Time and timelessness, with an old soul, Odysseus. 
Our journey with Luke through myth, metaphor and marauding dark characters is unforgettable.  Hausman's most blood thirsty characters are not without mercy or frailty, and all are rooted in West Indian history and collective consciousness. There is a meaningful darkness in his tale that is skillfully crafted and never gratuitous; far from. The dark is the harmlessness of an author's broad stroke of night; an invitation to light. It is that which allows Luke to manifest the dawning of his namesake. It is the necessary dive into unconsciousness demanded by the character's circumstances and personal story.  Drawing on nothing outside himself and relying on no sense of Other, every twist and turn into the depths of past, present and future are his life blood, coagulating into story lines and descriptions so we can experience All with him. As he is pressed deeper into the recesses of time-self, we come up for air and cringe, duck for cover, or marvel.  
That Luke emerges free of dependencies, strengthened in the power of saving himself, the reader basks not only in  the light, talent and courage of Hasuman's hero, but in the promise of her very own.

From his blog:
My PhotoGerald Hausman calls himself a "native of the world" after living in so many places in the United States and the West Indies. He spent more than twenty years in New Mexico where many of his American Indian folktales were collected and published. Born in Baltimore, Maryland in
1945, Hausman has been a storyteller almost since birth. His more than 70 books attest to his love of folklore, a passion instilled by his mother who painted the portraits of Native American chiefs. During his thirty-five years as a storyteller, Gerald has entertained children of all ages at such places as The Kennedy Center, Harvard University, St John's College and in schools from one end of the country to the other. Five audio books have come out in recent years and two of Gerald's books have been made into animated and folkloric films. His books have also been translated into a dozen foreign languages.

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