How Music Came to the Ainchan People, the classic novel by late Barbadian author Timothy Callender, has just been given the TRAFFORD’S Gold Seal of Literary Excellence. First self published in 1979, the novel, was republished last year (2012) by Trafford Publishing and immediately received a five-star review from Barnes & Noble. The cover of the novel will now bear Trafford’s Gold Seal of Literary Excellence and will qualify for submission for other literary awards. The book is now recommended reading by the US Review of Books. In his previously un-published book How Music Came to the Ainchan People, Callender explores the evolution of music in ancient culture. It tells the story of the epic journey of Shangodoon on his quest to overthrow a cruel dictator.
Shangodoon’s experiences on his journey help open his eyes to the elements of music including: rhythm, through his Earth experiences; harmony, through the adventures of his wife with water; and melody, through the activities of his son with the air or wind. Eventually Shangodoon realises that music is the tool he needs to defeat the dictator and the rule of the Dominauts.
The novel is one of Callender’s works published after his passing.
“It is a combination of all the skills of this creative artist,” says his widow, Lorna. “It is rare to find an author who is also a visual artist, a poet, a student of history and geography and an accomplished story teller.” Callender was an author, artist, poet, playwright, visual artist, musician, sculptor, researcher and teacher. He taught art in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean islands. His short stories, poetry, drama and paintings have won various awards at the annual NIFCA, and his work has been published in anthologies, newspapers and magazines and featured at exhibitions. Many of his works are now being published or republished following his death at the age of 43.
Wendy Strain, who reviewed the book, wrote:
“May my pen always be Melodious; may Harmony direct the structure of my expression, and may Rhythm speak its truth to my readers, in the name of the Creator of all, whom we the Ainchan people know as Music.” Approaching the topic from the perspective of a history book, Callender tells a convincing story of hope and fulfillment. Taking a small side step from history, the author’s fictional civilization is introduced to a foreign population that arrives on its lands from previously unknown but rumored places.The mostly peaceful and weaponless people were quickly overwhelmed by the more aggressive foreigners and their strange firesticks. The previously very vocal local culture was then oppressed through a series of monarchs who imposed silence in the street. It is now the history teacher’s job to instruct his students about how music was returned to the culture and why it holds such a venerable place in their society now. The book is filled with lovely descriptions that delicately pull the reader into the web of the story. History lesson smoothly blends into story time as Shangodoon narrates his own journey on behalf of his people. Exotic terrains take shape as the epic journey of the hero unfolds, revealing ever deeper insights and observations into nature and the nature of human existence. These understandings eventually create the new reality for the Ainchan people from which the story originally starts. While the author never allows the reader to fully lose track of the story as it is told through varying voices, the pace is smooth and consistent. In the end, the effect is a journey toward inner peace and wisdom. As is hoped near the beginning of the book, each page seems graced with beautiful harmony and rhythm building toward something greater than itself.†
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