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  • Nicolette Bethel


Published: Jul 13, 2013

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This week, writer, anthropologist and cultural activist Nicolette Bethel answers 20 Questions from Guardian Arts&Culture.


1. What’s been your most inspirational moment in the last five years?

Not a clue. I would have to say something to do with Shakespeare in Paradise, which has been well received, not just at home but around the region, or something to do with The College of The Bahamas’ Bahamas@Forty Conference, where COB students presented papers that knocked the socks off adults.


2. What’s your least favorite book?

Can’t pick just one. Let’s just say many things that are self-published, especially if they are being handed out on the side of the road.


3. What’s your favorite genre of literature?

Truthfully? Murder mysteries. Not thrillers. Mysteries.


4. What are your top 5 movies of all time?

I hate these questions. Let me come back to that.


5. Coffee or tea?

Finally something I can answer!! Coffee.


6. What book are you reading now?

1) “The Wizard of the Crow” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o. 2) “Redemption in Indigo” by Karen Lord. 3) “Fire in a Dead Man’s Eye” by Madison Hill. I’m not including the books I’m reading for the research I’m doing. Is that OK?


7. What project are you working on now?

1) Shakespeare in Paradise, especially “Speak the Speech II” and “Sammie Swain”. 2) Poems for my collection “Mama Lily and the Dead”. 3) A trio of research papers from the past two years.


8. What’s the last book that surprised you?

It wasn’t a book, it was a presentation on climate change and The Bahamas given by Margo Blackwell at the Bahamas@Forty Conference. Basically, we’re doomed. We’re on the top 10 list of countries to disappear beneath the ocean in the next hundred years. And at the same time, Andros has remarkable environmental qualities that we need to respect and protect, not least of all because they can affect and help to respond to climate change.


9. Saxons, One Family, Valley Boys or Roots?

None of the above. I prefer scrap.


10. If you had to be stranded on one Family Island which one would it be?

Crooked Island or Eleuthera.


11. What’s the most memorable book you’ve ever read?

The Holy Bible, aka the King James Version. It’s hard to forget much of what I read in it.


12. Which writer do you have a secret crush on?

Earl Lovelace. When you meet him, you know why.


13. If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be?

My mother and my father.


14. Who do you think is the most important Bahamian in the country’s history?

Whoever works out how to stop The Bahamas from disappearing under the ocean in the next hundred years.


15. Who is your favorite living writer?

Toni Morrison, Kamau Brathwaite, George Lamming or Earl Lovelace. Take your pick.


16. Sunrise or Sunset?

Sunrise, when I catch it. Otherwise sunset.


17. What role does the writer have in society?

Funny you should ask that. You can find my answer on YouTube.


18. What’s your most embarrassing moment?

I’m not going to tell you. It’s too embarrassing.


19. What wouldn’t you do without?



20. What’s your definition of beauty?

Kindness. A sense of humor. True interest in other people.

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