Hillhouse: A true Antiguan literary mind

The Boy from Willow Bend,When it comes to anything literary in Antigua, Joanne Hillhouse often comes to mind. This remarkable Antiguan writer is always busy, whether writing for the Daily Observer or getting her articles and poetry published in

established regional and international publications like Mythium, the Journal of Contemporary Literature and Sea Breeze, a Liberian journal.

With the recent second edition of her book, The Boy from Willow Bend, Hillhouse continues to find new readers for this enticing story.  It is the story of Vere, an Antiguan youth, with an irrepressible spirit which is tested as he comes of age amid poverty, loss, and hard knocks. The women in his life – his absent mother, his long suffering tanty, his first crushes Kim and Makeba, and his first girlfriend Elizabeth – help shape him; so, too, does his abrasive grandfather and others. In the end, he grows into his own person - bright, talented, a survivor.

With a new cover design by Heather Doram , the second edition publication by Hansib, best known as the publisher of A Little Bit of Paradise, The Boy from Willow Bend, is a must read.  The book is now included in the school reading list and Joanne hopes that the young readers will learn something from Vere - who may be able to teach them that they can get through anything, whatever it is. Vere has a lot thrown at him, and survives with his spirit largely intact.

Hillhouse also feels that older readers will enjoy the book because they can also reminisce about their childhoods.  She also believes that it’s good to have an Antiguan authored book on the school reading list because it is a positive way to show Antigua’s youth that anything is possible. Joanne was once a little girl from Ottos who had a great desire to become a writer. Now, in her adult years, with two published books, literary awards and countless submissions internationally, Joanne is a true inspiration to all aspiring young Antiguan writers.

Check out some of Joanne’s online work -  http://www.womenwriters.net (the 2008 special issue), Calabash - http://www.nyu.edu/calabash/vol4no2 (Volume 4 Number 2), and Sea Breeze, a Liberian journal (2008 edition) http://www.liberiaseabreeze.com/joanne_c_hillhouse.html


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