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A Caribbean-Canadian Chronicle by Robert Edison Sandiford

Sand for Snow

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Sand for Snow

Robert Edison Sandiford moved from Canada to his parents’ native Barbados in 1996. He went for “wife and work” — his new bride was a Bajan, and he had landed an editor’s position at the leading daily newspaper. Yet his journey ‘Back Home’ also led to a series of insightful and often poignant meditations on relationships, island life, and the decline of his father, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease twelve years earlier. “Coming out of the Caribbean as these stories did, they could not have been written in any other time or place,” says Sandiford in the Preface. Part travelogue, part memoir, Sand for Snow: A Caribbean-Canadian Chronicle is a thoughtful, revealing, and often humorous trip to a most unexpected destination.

Critical Comment

“This unpretentious, charming book reminds us of the power of observation–and of reflection–clearly articulated. ”

—Halifax Sunday Herald, Dec. 2004

“…The book for me changed almost immediately into the classical immigration story, where it takes an incredible leap of faith (and not lunacy) to leave the known for the unknown: the familiarity of the country of his birth and the support systems – albeit regardless of the fact that they have failed him – to [Barbados] the country of his parents' birth, a country he knows only from visits and stories.”

—Groove, 2004

“Raised with a dual sensibility, Sandiford is able to see Barbadian society with unfamiliar, unglazed eyes, and report with frank yet discreet honesty its strengths and failings.”

—H. Nigel Thomas, Montreal Community Contact, 2004

“This book...makes me wish that I'd been much closer to my father. It makes me wish that he’d always been there for me or that I could have been there for him....”

—Ricky Jordan

“In his new environment, Sandiford ponders what it means to be Bajan, and what it means to be Canadian, and how best to reconcile the two within himself.... What follows is part travelogue, part memoir, and an entertaining critique and celebration of island life and city life.”

—McGill News, Summer 2004

“Sandiford’s strength lies in provocative profiles.... ”

—Montreal Gazette, 2004

“Migration is one of the great themes of Caribbean writing.... But few narratives describe attempts by descendents of these 20th-century emigrants to return to the Caribbean of their parents. Sand for Snow is a thoughtful, modest, and quietly moving exploration of that reverse voyage. ”

—Caribbean Beat, Jul/Aug 2004

Author Robert Edison Sandiford

Latest RobSand

Author Biography

Robert Edison Sandiford is a founding editor of ArtsEtc: The Premier Cultural Guide to Barbados (artsetcbarbados.com) and has worked as a journalist, book publisher, video producer with Warm Water Productions, and teacher. He has won awards for both his writing and editing, including Barbados’ Governor General's Award of Excellence in Literary Arts and the Harold Hoyte Award, and been shortlisted for the Frank Collymore Literary Award. He still divides his time between Canada and Barbados.

49th shelf

Sand for Snow: A Caribbean-Canadian Chronicle,,Robert Edison Sandiford, 188 pp., 5x 8, Memoir, November 2003

ISBN: 978-0-919688-79-7 (paper). . .$16.95

ISBN: 978-0-919688-81-0 (Bound) . . . $26.95

* This book is “perfect bound” with an add-on hand bound cover, no dust jacket.

List prices above do NOT include applicable taxes. Offer prices DO!

Also by the Author

The Tree of Youth and Other Stories, 136 pp., 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, November 2005, Short Stories — ISBN: 1-897190-04-2, (paper) ... $17.95 — ISBN: 1-897190-05-0 (Bound) ... $28.95

And Sometimes They Fly, 195 pp., 5.5 x 8.5, April 2013, Novel — ISBN: 978-1-897190-94-4 (paper) ... $21.95 — ISBN: 978-1-927599-29-7 (Hard Cover) ... $32.95

Fairfield, 160 pp., 5.5 x 8.5, November 2015, Short Stories— ISBN: 978-1-927599-35-8 (paper) ... $18.95 — ISBN: 978-1-927599-36-5 (Hard Cover) ... $36.95

Praise for Robert Edison Sandiford

“I’ve reviewed Sandiford before, and I find his past successes repeated in And Sometimes They Fly. A cross between Joe Conrad and V.S. Naipaul, Sandiford is breathtakingly clear in his prose, and this commitment to realism serves him well in writing a story that could easily be a Twilight Zone episode.... And Sometimes They Flyis an adventure tale, a sort of Caribbean novelization of The Odyssey. If you’ve not read Sandiford before, this novel is a good place to start.” – George Elliott Clarke, The Chronicle Herald, Halifax

“You better watch out, the new batch of Elected may soon be here for you and we don’t mean by votes!  They are found in And Sometimes They Fly, a mesmerizing retelling of Barbadian and Caribbean myths in a world where neither USA nor Europe are...the battlefields of modern Gods and Demons, but Barbados!” – Ian Bourne, thebajanreporter.com

“...this is more than a good-versus-bad story. Sandiford spends a lot of time examining human nature [and has an] excellent way of using words to describe a landscape. And Sometimes They Fly...is a unique and interesting read...a fantastic book.” – inkwellbook.blogspot.com

“Although the supernatural attributes of Sandiford’s characters might make them seem more at home in Homer’s and Milton’s epics, the narrative is fiercely grounded in topographical and historical detail, whether the action is occurring in Barbados or Montreal. This keeps the narrative from escaping into the purely magical, as occurs, for example, in Alice in Wonderland. It also reifies what’s asserted in the folk rhyme that is at the core of the novel: that these seemingly supernatural occurrences are also a part of reality. Injustice meted out to Caribbean First Nations, who lost their lands and for the most part their lives; and to Africans: first as de jure slaves and later as de facto slaves, and which to this day remains unrequited, plays a significant role in the novel’s apocalypse.

An additional pleasure in the reading of this work is to be found in Sandiford’s beautifully wrought prose. It is oftentimes lyrical, recalling Toni Morrison’s (without her prolixity) and James Baldwin’s.” – H. Nigel Thomas, The Caribbean Writer

“Sandiford’s prose reads like poetry. Part patois, part english, his writing may be a challenge for some less familiar with the dialect, but is all the more beautiful for it. He leads you into a world full of magic, danger, action and presents us with the first truly Caribbean superheroes.”


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