Eric Walrond Book Club
Join us and members of a Devizes Book Club over a cup of tea and a slice of cake for this FREE afternoon event to discuss the writing of Eric Walrond - a Caribbean writer in Wiltshire.
Eric Walrond was at the heart of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's - a flowering of Black music, dance poetry, art and writing that produced celebrated names such as Duke Ellington, Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes and Louis Armstrong. Walrond was one of the best known writers, and he worked with Marcus Garvey campaigning for civil rights and writing influential newspaper articles. In 1926, he published 'Tropic Death' which a contemporary said moved him into the ranks of American artists with his fiercely realistic Caribbean tale. He was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and moved to Paris and then London.
In 1939, Walrond moved to Wiltshire, living during the War in Bradford on Avon, working in a local factory and writing articles for US newspapers about life in wartime Britain. After the War, he moved to Melksham, working at the Avon Rubber Factory.
For much of his life, he struggled with his mental health and in 1952 he voluntarily admitted himself to Roundway Hospital in Devizes. The hospital was known to be progressive in its treatment of mental health and he seems to have found comfort there, where he witnessed “astonishing examples of brotherliness and self-sacrifice”. While at the Hospital he wrote over 40 articles for the Roundway Review, regaining his enthusiasm for writing.
At this Book Club event, we will be looking at a small selection of short stories and articles - all of which are downloadable below.
- Panama Gold - a 16 page short story from Tropic Death, centred on Walrond's early life in the Caribbean, published in 1926
- The Catering Department - a 2 page factual article from the Roundway Review, November 1953
- The Lieutenant's Dilemma - a 5 page article from the Roundway Review, May 1955
- A Seat for Ned - an 8 page short story from the Roundway Review, October 1955
- A Strange Incident - a 3 page article from the Roundway Review, January 1956
Or use this link to download all the stories as a single PDF file (13Mb).
Please register for this FREE event below. we have limited spaces and want to know that you are coming! Limited free parking is available at the rear of the Museum, but beware of the roadworks close by in Long Street.