Reviews:

Drinkers is a multi-form text.  Essays, poetry, and fiction present rural life in Trinidad. These texts are interspersed with analytic and exploratory sections on the ethnographic and fieldwork experience.  Within a context which includes the West Indian sugar estate at its core, and the distant but very influential U.S.A. at the periphery, Stewart reveals villagers struggling with problems of individual identity, as well as with problems occasioned by the historical struggle between African, European, and Indian cultural forms.

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JOSM FoundersJosmBooks is a family partnership of writers and musicians.  Co-founder John Stewart is an anthropologist and writer who has a standing interest in the historical and cultural continuities among African descent people in the American Diasporas.   His books include For the Ancestors, a life history of Bessie Jones, lead singer of the famous Georgia Sea Island Singers; Drinkers, Drummers, and Decent Folk, a narrative ethnography of rural life in Trinidad, West Indies; and the prize-winning novel Last Cool Days, also set in pre-independent Trinidad.

 

As a social scientist, John is a member of the Society for Humanistic Anthropology, and a past editor of the journal.  He shares a concern with making cultural and social research and publishing easily available and relevant to those whose lives are most frequently the subject of such research.  To that end, he advocates the dramatic narrative as a method of investigation and presentation. His Looking for Josephine is a collection of short stories based on fieldwork in Trinidad.

 

Co-founder Sandra teamed up with John to write Project Colorful Skin, a novel that exploits current fieldwork techniques but focuses the story on future cultures.   JosmBooks will continue to follow the team production approach, as evidenced with Truth Lies, music and poetry with John Tchicai and Margrit Naber; the "Violence as Creativity Project;" and the "El Cajon project."

 

John and other JOSM co-founders have traveled widely.  From Yorubaland to Dar-es-Salaam, Western Europe, India, several Caribbean islands, Peru, to the four corners of the U.S.A.  We have developed a keen respect for poignant similarities in the ways people  -- especially in rural communities  -- embrace each other, find religion, love and support one another, and tell their stories.   These common themes, and the habits of collaboration they drive heavily influence the works presented here and others to come.

 

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