Home of Author Dr. Carmen Subryan
A DNA test that the author takes provides the impetus for these ten short stories set mainly in the Linden area of Guyana, South America. The first story, “Finding My Roots”, not only focuses on the author’s European roots but also on the fact that her African roots, the majority of her DNA, will never be unearthed or explored. The backdrop of most of the stories is the scenic Demerara River on the east bank of which the author lived for twelve years. (THIS BOOK IS HEAVILY ILLUSTRATED!)
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After almost five decades away, Doreen, a retired senior citizen, returns to her birth country to discover whether she could spend the last days of her life in a place that had nurtured her and contributed to the woman she had become. Indeed, she had departed just two years after British Guiana had received its independence from Great Britain, lowered the Union Jack, raised the Golden Arrowhead, renamed itself Guyana, and set out to chart its path as a cooperative republic.
At first everything seems new and exciting, but soon she finds herself sliding down a path of disillusionment. The old culture resurfaces, trying to drown her in a morass, and soon her “first” world consciousness clashes with a “third” world reality. Yet she finds pleasure in exploring and recording the history of the Linden area as well as the culture embedded deep in her psyche. Eventually, she finds herself stepping on the proverbial crack that would “break her mother’s back.” After six months, she realizes that, like Thomas Wolfe, she “can’t go home again.”
Dr. Carmen Subryan
As a child, Carmen Barclay Subryan lived beside the beautiful Demerara River at Retrieve, Mackenzie, where the roots of her mother’s ancestors, the Allicocks, run deep into the history of the region. She attended Christianburg Scots School, where she later taught, Mackenzie High School, and Guyana Teachers College. In 1968, she immigrated to the USA to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C. There she received a B.A magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, an M.A., and in 1983, a Ph.D. degree, all in English. In 1974, she began teaching at Howard University, retiring in 2015 after 41 years there. She is the mother of two daughters and two grandsons.
Always interested in her roots, Carmen has penned three novels, Black–Water Women, Black–Water People, and Black–Water Children, based loosely on the Allicock family history. She has also authored three books of poetry, Reprise, Rachel’s Tears, and Sketches: People–Watching in the U S of A. In 2016, she published a book of short stories entitled Realities: Stories from our Times. In addition, she has written three booklets about the Linden area: “The Story of Christianburg”, “The Story of Wismar” and “The Story of Mackenzie”. In May 2017, on her return from a six and a half month stay in Guyana, she began writing her current work, Stepping on Cracks: Reflections on my Homeland.
An avid reader, Carmen is focusing on developing a love of reading in children and to this end she distributed copies of her book Black–Water People to high school students in the Linden area.