“Death in Panama” by Dr Ronald Williams -Dorrance Publishing

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“Death in Panama” by Dr Ronald Williams -Dorrance Publishing

Postby bimjim » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:25 pm

http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsite ... ewsID=7707

New novel looks at Barbadian deaths in Panama Canal project
By Khalil Goodman

“Death in Panama” by Dr Ronald Williams -Dorrance Publishing

By the time the Panama Canal was completed at the turn of the century, a total of 27,500 workmen were estimated to have died in the French and American efforts. More than half of these workers could have been Barbadian, as almost 20 000 Barbadians are estimated to have left the country to work on the project and there is no record of how many of these returned.

This is the jump-off point of a new novel written by Barbadian born novelist Dr Ronald Williams.

A former student of Coleridge and Parry, Williams now based in the United States read from the manuscript from his new book “A Death in Panama” which is to be published in 2010.

Dozens of friends and family sat or stood in the serene and cloistered grounds of Maxor House in Strathclyde last week to hear Williams read the complex tale of a white Barbadian trying to do good in Panama while his men die all around him.

The novel also spins a tale of Roger’s lost love and his childhood on a plantation in the 19th century in a family feud that has repercussions later.

The book is the second novel by Williams who launched his first work of fiction “Four Saints and An Angel” in July 2009. Whereas the first novel was set on the fictional island of “St. Euribius” which Williams had noted, “many Barbadians will recognise as Barbados”, the new book uses Barbados and Panama as its primary settings.

This Williams said was because it is a historical novel and the public will not see the characters as “based on anyone in reality”.

With another novel boasting strong female characters and a flawed man Williams noted that this is reflective in his own upbringing by strong women in his family. “However, I am aware not to exploit the female characters. You can’t make them strong and invincible.”

“Death in Panama” is already with Dorrance Publishing and is expected for a September release.

Noting that his first novel has been selling very well, especially within Caribbean communities Williams said that as in the first novel “Death in Panama” balances a keen thriller of a plot with strong characterisation, which he hopes will appeal to both fans of a fast paced popular fiction as well those who require a novel with literary character growth.
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