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Iron Balloons: Fiction from Jamaica's Calabash Writer's Workshop Paperback – January 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933354054
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933354057
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

COLIN CHANNER's major works of fiction include the novel Waiting in Vain and the story collection Passing Through, which Junot Diaz described as "a splendid collection by one of the Caribbean Diaspora's finest writers." He is an assistant professor of English and the coordinator of the B.A. creative writing program at Medgar Evers College.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By alldayReader on March 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The collection Iron Balloons: Hit Fiction From Jamaica's Calabash Writer's Workshop, begins with an introduction by Colin Channer, an organizer of the workshop and author of one of the stories in the collection. He explains that music has been the huge creative outlet for Jamaicans, whereas creative writing and reading for pleasure have been more exclusive and restricted, not as publicly supported or loved as the music of the island. His introduction sounds almost like an apology for the stories to come but no apology is needed. There are real gems of story telling in this collection, and all of the stories are good. What they share is the ambience they exert, a distinctly Jamaican mix of family and church, duty and pleasure; the stories express the flourishing of these traits, sometimes at odds and sometimes in complete harmony and rolling rhythm.

There is definitely a rhythm in these stories, one that combines a straightforward narrative together with glimpses backward, a seeking of reassurance or a quick check to make sure the past is not in pursuit, that the future can be gained and enjoyed and held safe. I especially loved the perfectly rendered "Someone To Tell" by A-dZiko Simba, the brave and beautiful "Siblings" by Rudolph Wallace, the quick and effective "The Anger Meridian" by Kaylie Jones, the sad and genuine "Parting" by Alwin Bully, the pull between church and reggae in "I Want to Disturb My Neighbor", the Jamaican middle-class family evoked in "A Little Embarrassment for the Sake of Our Lord" and the bitter truth of "How to Beat A Child the Right and Proper Way" by Colin Channer.

This is a wonderful collection and I look forward to reading more from these authors. The stories may have begun in Jamaica but their themes of love and duty, grief and joy, are universal, and we are all included in the telling of these truths.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LovestoRead on December 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love reading Colin Channer. He has a flavor to his writing that is lacking in some of his contemporaries. He writes a great story.
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By CES on July 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My Jamaican friend that I bought this for LOVED this book & read it in one day!
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