Saturday, September 17, 2011

Author, Jean Lowrie-Chin talks about growing up in Jamaica in new book 'Souldance'

Well-known writer and communication executive Jean Lowrie-Chin reading excerpts from her book entitled: "Souldance" at Bookland in New Kingston on Saturday, September 10.

Author, Jean Lowrie-Chin talks about growing up in Jamaica in new book 'Souldance'
by John Myers Jr
Kingston, Jamaica – Reading enthusiasts were given an entertaining, but provocative perspective on Jamaican life and issues by well-known writer and communications executive, Jean Lowrie-Chin who read from her first publication Souldance – a compilation of her poems and writings spanning more than 30 years.

At Bookland in New Kingston on Saturday, September 10, Mrs Lowrie-Chin read excerpts to an expectant audience who were delighted by the refreshing spin placed on her real life experiences and her take on issues that impact the Jamaican society.

“It is an absolute delight to hear her read her poems and her prose. The things she talks about and the way she expresses them resonates with me. Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans everywhere should really get a chance to read it,” said Lillieth Nelson, who was among those who came out to the reading. “I am looking forward to sitting down and reading through.”

Mrs Lowrie-Chin recounted her childhood days in Westmoreland where she spoke of her father's affinity for precision, her mother’s devotion to the church and dedication to ensuring that her children received a good education. She recalled her feisty exchange with Miss Fanny, the family's long-time helper who decided to pack her bags and return home after the episode. She, however, wrote of her reunion in an attempt to make amends with Miss Fanny, having agonised for many years that she had done a grave wrong.

Mrs Lowrie-Chin recounted her days at Alpha Academy and guidance of Sister Mary Bernadette Little; the influence of late theatre genius Wycliffe Bennett; meeting the late Louise Fraser-Bennett, the then president of the Sound System Association of Jamaica, as well as, attending the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Those who gathered for the early afternoon treat were kept wide-eyed and smiling, with occasional outbursts of laughter and chuckles as she recited poems such as “Your Son Too”, “Jonkunnu Baby”, “Yuh Si Mi” and “Pick-up Time” and her take on “Life's Lighter Side” much to their enjoyment.

"Perfect! I love the poetry... I love it!" Howard Byrd exclaimed. “I enjoyed hearing her read from her book because I didn't know her background, her growing up days and her inter-relation with all classes of persons,” he added.

Souldance attempts to capture the mood of the Jamaican people, as well as, their thoughts and aspirations. The pieces featured in the book reflect the events that influence positively, as well as, weigh heavily on the Jamaican society. Her poetry is both entertaining and provocative as evidenced by the warnings against the rat race in “Slow Down Child”, to the startling take on the life of Lee Boyd Malvo in “Your Son Too”; they demonstrate that though so much has changed, a lot has also stayed the same.

The selection of columns are equally amusing as they are inspiring, reflecting on the achievements of outstanding Jamaicans such as the Honourable Louise Bennett, Usain Bolt, Jessie Ripoll(later Mother Claver). They also address some of Jamaica 's most pertinent issues, like the future of Jamaican men, in “A Vision of Our 'Men at Risk'”.

Andrea Ayton, manager of Bookland New Kingston also enjoyed the session even as she busily attended to customers. “I enjoyed her reading thoroughly. When we first got the book we took it and were browsing through it and said wow! I think I am going to enjoy this book because it is not only funny, it has a little bit of her life, she talks on different subjects, so it covers a lot...” According to Mrs Ayton, “Already people have been buying it since I have put it on display.”

Jean noted that the book was dedicated to her children Anita and Noel and said she was grateful for the support of her husband Hubie. She thanked Bookland's Andrea Ayton, Ricardo Daley and Novelty Trading for their assistance in promoting 'Souldance'.

is published by Ian Randle publishers and is available at book stores islandwide and at

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