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Dec 11, 2013

Zee Edgell hosted by the National Library Service in Belmopan

Well known Belizean author, Zee Edgell, has been in Belize for about two weeks during which she has been making her media rounds. This Thursday she will be appearing on Open Your Eyes. But earlier today, she was at an event hosted by the National Library Service in Belmopan. Her fans had the opportunity to learn about her insights and love for writing. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Acclaimed Belizean author Zee Edgell, famous for her coming of age novel Beka Lamb, was the featured writer at an event hosted today by the National Library Service.  Fans of Edgell’s literary works, including In Times Like These and The Festival of San Joaquin, had an opportunity to meet her in person to have their copies of her books autographed and to learn more about her passion for the written word.  Meet the Author is a unique showcase which highlights Edgell’s life and achievements.


Zee Edgell, Belizean Author

Zee Edgell

“You can’t have a country without a literature.  We all know that and we have all been trying to develop that literature.  One of the things that I’ve been trying to do since I returned home is to reach out to foundations and other organizations to link up with the library and other organizations to establish scholarships, prizes and perhaps even sabbaticals for people who would like to write but can find no time when they are in the hurly-burly of earning a living.”


Edgell’s first novel, Beka Lamb, was awarded the 1982 Fawcett Society Book Prize.  That outstanding piece of Belizean literature is her magnum opus.


Zee Edgell

“Beka Lamb took me ten years, so most of my books take me ten years because I don’t have the luxury of or the strength anymore to get up at four in the morning and so on and so forth.  So now that you’re young you should take advantage of it.  There’s a guy called T.S. Elliot, who I’m sure you have to study at some point in your life, he wrote a most magnificent poem when he was twenty-two.  Do you remember the name of that poem?  No, not the Wasteland, that’s right!  See people read poetry.”


Edgell’s third short story, My Uncle Theophilus, also won the Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for short fiction.  That story was later published in 1999 in the Caribbean Writer.


Zee Edgell

“In my writing life, one of the things I think I’ve missed, I loved reading the Colonial Civil Servants poems.  I love reading their [lyrics] and singing their songs.  They did beautifully, don’t you think so?  Because they’re still lovely today, we still enjoy those old poems and songs but what is missing from that era are novels that really and truly show us what life was like in their sphere.  And the reason for that is of course obvious, they had their livings to preserve, I understand that.  So from here on I think we should try and find some strategy to get them to write a declaration that Bud Bank or something, get everybody to decide that we will allow our writers to be able to write freely.”


Edgell is currently working on her fifth book, provisionally titled Moses Kingsley.  Her most recent accomplishment was earning an Honorary Doctorate in Literature degree from the University of the West Indies. Isani Cayetano for News Five.


Edgell is now penning her fifth book tentatively titled, “Moises Kingsley.” The date of release is not yet known because according to the author, Beka Lamb took ten years to be completed. 

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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