“Gypsy in the Moonlight,” a novel set in Trinidad and Tobago during World War II, written by Lawrence Waldron, will be formally launched Tuesday evening Dec. 15 at the Brooklyn Public Library branch at 22 Linden Blvd., Brooklyn. The launch, scheduled for 6 –7:45 pm, will be hosted by the Caribbean Awareness Committee and the Trinidad and Tobago Folk Arts Institute, in collaboration with the Caribbean Literary and Cultural Center.
The book is, as described by the author, “a historical novel that combines the wry wit, urban commentary and gender anxieties of the uniquely modern and surprisingly compatible mediums of calypso and noir.”
A New York resident and émigré from Trinidad and Tobago, author Waldron teaches Caribbean Art at City College of CUNY. “Gypsy in the Moonlight” provided Waldron with an opportunity to lean heavily on abundant research and extensive writing and lecturing he has done on Trinidadian cultural traditions, including calypso.
Dubbed “a calypso mystery,” the novel uses the presence of American servicemen stationed at the naval base in Chaguaramas, Trinidad from 1942 and the resulting so-called “social invasion” that impacted Trinidadian society, to weave its tale of mischief and eventually, murder. Reflecting the tenor of the times, the calypso art form, as an important forum for topical commentary, boldly addressed the dramatic change in social mores occasioned by the American military presence, no individual composition doing so more famously than Lord Invader’s classic “Rum and Coca Cola.”
Positive advance comments about “Gypsy in the Moonlight” include the following: “a fine, powerfully evocative literary work that confronts the dark shadows of the Yankee presence in Trinidad during the 1940s” (Roger Toussaint, former president of the Transport Workers Union Local 100); “it beams light on the often condescending presence of American military personnel stationed in Trinidad” (Duff Mitchell, Trinidad and Tobago Folk Arts Institute); “It is easily one of the best novels set in the Caribbean in the last 50 years” (W.R. Holder, educator).
The Dec. 15 book launch event is free and open to the public. For information, contact: Caribbean Awareness Committee at 718-532-6347 or T&T Folk Arts Institute at 718-252-6161.