• Sara-Sati

5 Indo-Caribbean Books You Should Read This Holiday

The Indo-Caribbean community carries a largely untold history that spans over 150 years from the journey across the kala pani from the Indian subcontinent to building out independent nations in the Caribbean. Now more than ever before, these stories are being told not just by contemporary writers but by creatives, content creators, artists and bloggers in the online space. From indentureship, building independent nations, to surviving economic stagnation and shaky political landscapes, and immigration, the experiences and history of Indo-Caribbean have been passed down in the community from generation to generation. Today, our storytellers are a new generation who have been raised outside of countries in the West Indies such as Guyana, Trinidad, and Suriname. This unique identity coloured by a delicate balance of Western upbringing, distinct Caribbean culture and Indian roots that have survived, thrived, and continue to be honored.



Here are 5 must-reads that have come from the creative minds of young Indo-Caribbean women:


1. Two Times Removed curated by Tiara Jade Chutkhan



Two Times Removed is a curated collection of sixteen short stories, told by writers in the diaspora. Together they explore the life experiences of the modern day Indo-Caribbean. shaped by the unique identity they have in common as children of the diaspora. This curation features stories about identity, family, trauma, relationships and adolescence. To quote the curator Tiara Jade Chutkhan, “each character, as we do, navigates their world with the influences of all these elements, making them uniquely Two Times Removed”


This curated collection features the work of: Ashley Anthony, Saira Batasar, Kamala Chan Anna Chowthi, Tiara Jade Chutkhan, Alexandra Daignault, Tiffany Manbodh, Alyssa Mongroo, Savita Prasad, Natasha Persaud, Karimah Rahman, Suhana Rampersad, Krystal Ramroop, Jihan Ramroop, Mari "Dev" Ramsawakh, and Alya Somar”


About the author:

Tiara Jade Chutkhan is a researcher, writer, blogger and Book YouTuber from Toronto, Canada. Check out more of Tiara’s work here: www.tiarajade.com

Support the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/Two-Times-Removed-Anthology-Indo-Caribbean/dp/1777727405


2. The Broken Coconut by Shivane Chandool



The Broken Coconut is as powerfully written as it is empowering to the reader. This debut collection of poetry by Shivane Chandool delves deep into exploring Indo-Caribbean identity and immense healing. The insights in this collection pieces together the beautiful metaphor of the broken coconut, while paying homage to the author’s Indo-Caribbean roots. The Broken Coconut is a coming-of-age story told within a collection of poetry that explores themes of mental health, soul, spirit, and loving who you are wholeheartedly as you find yourself and your footing in this world.


About the author:

Shivane Chandool is a photographer, writer, and poet from New York. Check out more of Shivane’s work here: http://shivanechandool.com

Support the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Coconut-Shivane-Chandool/dp/B09J7JX6D6


3. Trauma by Elizabeth Jaikaran



Trauma by Elizabeth Jaikaran is a hauntingly beautiful collection of true and extraordinary stories that display the strength and resilience of Guyanese women as they navigate their own individual journeys that will, in turn, form a legacy. The stories of these women speak of the abuse they have suffered in their native Guyana and after emigrating to the United States as they struggle to survive and flourish. Elizabeth Jaikaran tells this story courageously and inspires the reader with her characters’ resilience and bravery.


About the author:

Elizabeth Jaikaran is a lawyer and writer from New York. Check out more of Liz’s work here: https://lizjaikaran.com/about/

Support the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/Trauma-Collection-Stories-Elizabeth-Jaikaran/dp/1941830420


4. we used to waitress by Jihan Ramroop



Written by and based on her lived experiences, Jihan Ramroop’s poetry collection is a beautifully vulnerable curation. We Used to Waitress is a poetry memoir that follows the writer from childhood to college, as we read about her journey as an Indo-Caribbean girl in America. Through this insightful creative expression, Jihan’s memoir explores her experiences with love and healing, as well as loss and depression, and learns to navigate the world unapologetically.


About the author:

Jihan Ramroop is a poet, actress, and playwright from New York. Check out more of Jihan’s work here: https://www.jihanramroop.com

Support the book here: https://www.amazon.com/we-used-waitress-Jihan-Ramroop/dp/0578769832


5. Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad by Krystal A. Sital



Visceral and eloquently written, Krystal Sital’s Secrets We Kept is an enthralling tale of hidden trauma, drama, and the fierce resilience of women who finally unleash their voices to uncover a brutal family truth. This stunning memoir brings generations of a family to life as Krystal tells the story of the strength, bravery, and sheer will of resilient Trinidadian women after years of abuse and carrying burdens of the family home that are all-too familiar to Caribbean women.


About the author:

Krystal Sital is a writer from New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter to check out her latest works:

https://twitter.com/KrystalASital/with_replies?lang=fa

Support the book here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35187198-secrets-we-kept