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Stabroek News

Demand for Miss Lou's work increases
published: Sunday | July 30, 2006

Krista Henry, Staff Reporter


The Honourable Louise Bennett-Coverley displays a copy of one of her audio works at a special reception in her honour on her vist to Jamaica in 2003. - File

Immortalised through her numerous works, Louise Bennett-Coverley's legacy will flourish for all time. Miss Lou had approximately five publications and 11 records. She also has countless books written about her work and contribution.

According to www.discoverjamaica.com, her works include: Humorous verses in Jamaica Dialect 1942, Jamaican Verses and Folk Stories, Laugh with Louise 1962, Jamaica Labrish 1966, Anancy and Miss Lou 1979. Records: Jamaica Folksongs, Folkways 1953, Jamaica Singing Games 1953, Miss Lou's Views 1967, Listen to Louise 1968, Carifesta Ring Ding 1976. The Honourable Miss Lou 1981, Miss Lou Live London 1983, Yes Me Dear Island Records, Visiting Miss Lou, Ring Ding Again and Lawd the Riddim Sweet.

As with most great persons, they are usually appreciated most when they depart. Although popular when she was alive, her death may have sparked renewed interest in her works. Three of her five written work seem to be most popular in Jamaica.

Marvin Gardener, student assistant at the University Bookshop, states "We have four of Miss Lou's books: Jamaica Labrish, Aunt Roachie Seh, Anansy and Miss Lou and Louise Bennett: Selected Poems."

BOOK SALES INCREASE

Book sales have seemingly increased since her death. Gardener, who spoke to the The Sunday Gleaner on Thursday, July 27, the day after her death, said "A lot of persons have been coming in asking for her books, especially the lecturers. We have put up a display with the books we have for her. We're actually going to order more."

Natalie Harvey, branch manager of the New Kingston's Bryan's Bookstore, said "We have three of her works: Anansy, Aunt Roachie Seh and Jamaica Labrish. We haven't had a sale all morning. We plan to order some more, but we're watching to see what will happen. We have some in stock and if they sell, we'll order some more."

Rimona Rowe, customer service representative for Sangster's Book Stores, said "We have three selections for Louise Bennett: Jamaica Labrish, Aunt Roachie Seh and Louise Bennett Selected Poems. There has been an increase in sales and interest, mostly in the CD. We have Lawd the Riddim Sweet, that has been selling. We have an audio cassette Ring Ding Again and Visiting With Miss Lou. We are trying to get more in stock."

Sangster's Book Stores is responsible for reprinting four of Miss Lou's work; they include Jamaica Labrish, Aunt Roachie Seh, Louise Bennett Selected Poems and Anansy and Miss Lou.

Suzette Henriques, marketing coordinator for Sangster's Book Stores, elaborates, "We published the books in November of 2005. We got the new issues in November and there were some errors which we edited and changed the cover. We do expect sales to go up. I just got feedback from the customer service department and they have been receiving calls from customers locally, as well as in Canada and other countries, seeking to order the books."

Sangster's purchasing manager, Sherly Chin, anticipates more demand for the cultural icon's work.

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