The other day, we had an author signing in my bookstore. The gentleman in question impressed me greatly, with his warm interactions with readers and obvious passion for his subject material, and also by the fact that he had a small girl curled in his lap for an extended period of time, and simply continued speaking to people about his book.
The man’s name is Jorge David Awe, and his first published work is a thing of beauty. It is a collection of short-stories, inspired by the town he grew up in, in his native Belize. Apparently friends have been pressing him to put pen to paper with his recollections, and bless those friends.
The writing reminds me a bit of Stephen Leacock, in that ability to describe a character so perfectly you feel you would recognize him on the street, with a few well-chosen words. The stories are funny, or dark, or darkly funny, and are like little tiny written still lifes.
In his inscription, Awe wrote that he hoped I would enjoy being introduced to a “colourful, raw, and wonderful culture,” and I did. The stories are little snapshots of lives without veneers, of how perhaps we would behave were we not occupied with the appearance of normalcy.
Go grab Essence & Folly, by Jorge David Awe – you’ll be glad you did.