Dominica: After the Storm

HonychurchJoshua Jelly-Schapiro and Lennox Honychurch at the NYRB:

Lennox Honychurch wrote the book on Dominica. Born on this small, mountainous island in the Windward Antilles in 1952, he first published The Dominica Story in 1975. An updated version of the book remains the standard history of a country that few Americans could distinguish from the Dominican Republic until recently, when Hurricane Maria blasted its peaks with 160-mile-per-hour winds and images on the news showed a once-lush land that then resembled the surface of the moon.

Located between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, Dominica was named for the day of the week—a Sunday—when Columbus first glimpsed its steep sides. The island— which is just under 300 square miles, about the size of New York City—remained unsettled by Europeans for much longer than its neighbors; it remains home today to a proud community of indigenous people whom the Spanish dubbed “Carib” but who call themselves Kalinago. The island passed back and forth between French and English control many times before it became, in 1763, the British colony it would remain until winning independence in 1978.

more here.