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Oct 11, 2016

Author Zee Edgell re-launches “Time and the River”

Zelma Edgell, better known by her pen-name Zee Edgell, is in Belize to re-launch her 2007 book “Time and River”, inspired by slavery in Belize. The novel focuses on the life of a young slave who subsequently became a slave-owner who would find herself owning her family members. The story unfolds around the time of forestry slavery and rebellion. Today, Edgell held a reading and conversation with students at the House of Culture. The media spoke with Edgell following the re-launch of her book.


Zee Edgell, Author

Zee Edgell

“I always try, except for small instances, I always try to stick to the historical record because I know and I hope that the young people will read it and they won’t go away with any false impression of what actually happened. So, I usually try to stick to the historical record. I think I have managed to do that ninety five percent of the time, through the novels, I hope. I am not a historian, you see. I also try to write my books in a balanced way, so that any child can read it and identify with it and not feel that it has anything to do with one side or another. I know historians have a perspective, but we need Belizeans who will give us a perspective who will manage to control their beliefs and try to give us a good history of Belize. When this book came out, for one reason or another, it just fell with a thud. There was no- I mean some people read it and like it. Well, you know, I will be truthful, slavery in Belize is very hard to deal with. It was hard for me to deal with when I was reading it. I didn’t know black people in Belize had slaves, so that was a shock to me. We try to think of slavery as one thing or another, where as it was so many things and it is emotionally overwhelming when you are trying to write about it. So I can imagine that many people prefer not to deal with. I mean, why bother? But if you want to know who we are and how we came to be living in this country and how it all happened and how it was in the settlement it is good to read the history of these things and my book is only a slice. Slavery was such a complicated thing that I only choose the 1820 – some years before and some years after and dealt with that.”


Edgell is a published author of several books, including acclaimed Beka Lamb.

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