Connected Fiction- Term of the Month (ToM)

Journey by Foot

Chasing the Sun

Recommended age of engagement- 18+ and adults

First conceptualized as a stage play/musical in four acts, Journey by Foot is a satirical novella with surrealistic elements that explores the intersectionality of the social constructs race and class on the Caribbean island of Trinidad shortly after she gains independence from Britain. It is aimed at teens 18 years and older as well as adults. It will be a nostalgic read for adults, riddled with comical political innuendo that will appeal to all members of this readership.

The novel is set in early post-colonial Trinidad, on the eve of the island’s fourth Independence Day, 30th August 1965. Trinidadian readers will have the added benefit of analyzing for themselves how far we have progressed beyond the many poignant idiosyncrasies of a post-colonial nation.

It follows an itinerant, cash-strapped, middle-aged tenor panman from East Dry River, Dreyfuss Simm, a middle-class Shango drumpoet from Belmont, Sanderson Cawley, and an eccentric bourgeoisie French-creole, self-proclaimed Futuristic Bele dancer, Tomlyn Cécile-Augustine. Their paths improbably yet fortuitously cross at the train station at Jerningham Junction, Port-of-Spain, then in the small town of Barataria. This leads to an eventful journey by foot, twenty-six miles, to a maiden talent competition to be held on Independence Day at the auspicious Royal Flamboyant Theatre on Coffee Street in San Fernando. Each has a vested hope of winning the coveted prize – an all-expense-paid scholarship to the prestigious NYC School of Performing Arts. All are banking on a fair competition, as it is rumoured that the Chief Judge is none other than the renowned American-Trinidadian thespian and talent scout, Mr. Jasper Horatio Owen Fairweather.

Only time and the walking of twenty-six miles will tell whether their quest for success, this journey by foot, will end well for them, or if they are just three hapless artists chasing the sun.

© 2020 IC Blackman