Second university in Italy teaches new Love Songs by Lasana Sekou
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Second university in Italy teaches new Love Songs by Lasana Sekou

GREAT BAY, St. Martin - Though only launched here in June, Love Songs Make You Cry – Second Edition by Lasana M. Sekou has already been studied in the Caribbean literature course at CIELS university in Italy.

“The students enjoyed the class and are becoming more and more interested in the literature and politics of the islands,” said Dr. Michela Calderaro, professor of the course. The comparative literature class is part of the undergraduate program in Language Mediation at the private university, said Calderaro.

“It also encourages creative competition when even before the book of short stories was launched on its home island of St. Martin, it was a required course reading in the historical city of Padova, Italy,” said Jacqueline Sample, president of HNP, the publisher of the collection. The course ended in May.

Calderaro said that Sekou’s “subject matters give his short stories ... a universal, yet unique, character that goes well beyond the boundaries of a Caribbean readership.”

CIELS is the second university in Italy to use books by the St. Martin author during the first half of 2014. The first was the University of Trieste, where Calderaro also teaches and is a leading comparative literature scholar with a focus on the Caribbean.

“Over three years ago, Jubilee Library statistics showed that Love Songs had made a dramatic comeback with young readers. In 2009 alone some 300 students took it out of the library for homework. It was decided then to just reprint the book, which was first published in 1989,” said Sample.

“When the publishing project picked up last year, it was realized that the stories about teen pregnancy in Dutch Quarter, jumbies in Middle Region, ‘Fatty and the Big House’ in French Quarter, courting in carnival village, murder at Grand Case beach, immigration raids, family and political secrets and all that, could be tweaked. In that way we got better storytelling by Lasana and faster-paced fictions for story lovers,” said Sample.

In the new Love Songs Make You Cry, Calderao does point out that, “Following one of the principles of Modernism Sekou reinvents his prose” but he does not shortchange readers on “The depth of his discourse and the scope of his subjects.”

Love Songs Make You Cry is available at Van Dorp, Arnia’s, www.amazon.comspdbooks.orgBookIshPlaza.com, and other stores.

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