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Elma Napier's Black and White Sands (Papillote Press) is one of my favourite books of all time. It's the enthralling autobiography of a Scottish-born aristocrat who in 1932 abandoned the trappings and vacuity of high society for a dramatically different new life in the wildly majestic Caribbean island of Dominica. Like the island, Elma's spirit is indomitable (indeed, she was the first woman to sit in a West Indian parliament), her voice witty and engaging as she recounts the trials and tribulations, the joys and jubilations she and her husband experienced while building their home and new lives on their beloved adopted island: With Dominica we fell in love at first sight, an infatuation without tangible rhyme or reason, yet no more irrational than any other falling in love. Sublime.
Elma Napier's love affair with Dominica, then a British colony, began in 1932 when she turned her back on London's high society to build a home in a remote coastal village on that most mysterious and seductive of all Caribbean islands. Black and White Sands is the memoir of her life there - of bohemian house-parties, war and death, smugglers and servants and, above all, of stories inspired by her political life as the only woman in a colonial parliament, her love for the island's turbulent landscapes and her curiosity about the lives and culture of its people.
Publication date: 31/12/2009
Publisher: Papillote Press
|Publication date:||31st December 2009|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography,|
|Categories:||Memoirs, Travel writing,|
Elma Napier, also known as Elma Gibbs and by the pen-name Elizabeth Garner, was a Scottish-born writer and politician who lived most of her life in the Caribbean island of Dominica. She published several novels and memoirs based on her life, and was the first woman elected to a Caribbean parliamentMore About Elma Napier