SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - The South Brunswick Public Library Foundation will be welcoming author Tracey Baptiste at their annual Author Dinner Gala on September 14th. The event will have a carribean theme for the Trinidadian author, and after hours events will include book signings, food and drink, and a chance to purchase Baptiste’s latest book The Jumbie God’s Revenge. Money from the entrance fee to the event will go to fund the libraries needs such as new projects, maintenance, repairs and the various programs that the library provides.
All those attending the presentation will receive a free copy of a book by the famous author.
Tracey Baptiste is a New York Times best-selling author, a former elementary school teacher and a faculty professor at Lesley University’s Creative Writing MFA program. She is the author of Minecraft: The Crash as well as The Jumbies series. As a New Jersey native, Batiste is happy that her community thinks of her as a local writer.
“The fact is that New Jersey is big, but not that big” Baptiste said “It’s amazing to get to meet people who live nearby and share similar experiences. It adds to the sense of community that is so great here in New Jersey.”
“Jumbies” are creatures from Carribean folklore, according to Baptiste. In various Carribean Islands and South American countries, there are multiple different versions of these monsters and what they are able to do. Batiste began to write these stories after she moved to the United States, in order to introduce the folklore to a new generation of children who did not grow up hearing them.
“The thing I like so much about these creatures is that the Jumbies are very specific to my culture but when you read the stories and learn what they are, there is a very universal appeal to them.” Baptiste said “readers can see the connection from their own culture and I think that’s why it has such a broad appeal and it’s why we keep adding to the series”
During the upcoming gala, Baptiste plans to talk about the third instalment in her Jumbies series as well as her own creative process for writing. Baptiste wants to speak to those who attend the event who are writers themselves, in order to connect with them and share her own writing process to help them move forward in their own craft.
Deepika Chandola is one of the board members of the South Brunswick Public Library Foundation. Chandola said that the foundation wanted to have someone speak at the gala who the public can relate to, as Batiste is a native of New Jersey and can speak to the Carribean community. Chandola also sees this gala as an opportunity to introduce people to different cultures and concepts.
“The folklores and these tales that she writes about, such as the Jumbies, have a very strong cultural meaning that many writes don’t really cover anymore” Chandola said “I feel very excited that people who are not Carribean will come and listen, in order to understand this culture and that it is something that we can all relate to.”