Orlando Marville’s “Prissy Princess” is 21st Century Literary Time Capsule for Barbados and the world
When I was a boy I used to love watching “Rocky & Bullwinkle” and my favourite part was Fractured Fairy Tales when you weren’t quite sure what has happening next, now? There’s another version for adults not just in Barbados, but all over the world… I discovered this by visiting the website of Caribbean Chapters and when I saw “The Prissy Princess And Other Adult Fairy Tales” something resonated in me this is I book I must have. When I ignore my ‘voice‘ it is usually to my cost, so for the most part I pay attention and avoid most traumas…
So imagine how I felt meeting the author at Gale Theatre’s “The Memory Of Water” at Frank Collymore Hall without my book for him to ink a greeting? He was there during intermission touting copies of his hilarious and raunchy take on nursery rhymes and Brothers Grimm. I was so annoyed my ‘voice‘ did not suggest I carry my copy, but luckily Orlando is charming and affable as he made sure to invite me for the launch recently.
I have finally sat myself down to ignore other assignments and actually read the book and it was definitely worth my while! The title story can easily be a twist on the stereotyped theory of what a typical white Bajan family is all about but modernised… The Prissy Princess (PP) our main character is so finicky that when her parents are either thinking of when they pass away or seeking to retire what will happen to the estate built from their hard work? Due to laws of the land, a man must be in charge even if the PP can run it alone.
The quest is to find a suitor matched to her extremely particular ways, and her parents get so desperate to acquire her a husband then said nothing when an Ethiopian Prince came a-wooing! But even he failed to match her almost amorphous criteria, in the end, only an amphibian seemed to meet her desires (Maybe because it could not talk back?) – and so in desperation she courts the lily-pond resident…
Get the book, now at Pages, for the twisted conclusion – LOL! There are many allegories where advice for teenagers entering adulthood should take heed… “Two Men On A Train” is very simply a warning not to judge appearances as a factor for interaction, since if the wrong decision is made then it can have bizarre repercussions.
“Humpty Dumpty” and “Y2K Land” are very carefully crafted satires of the events which shaped the start of the 21st Century; “The Madman and The Blind Man” takes an askew glance of an old metaphor; “The Dancing Angels” looks at politics and religion yet showing honey is a better fly-catcher than vinegar.
My favorites are “Cindi Arela” which is a very sexual look at Cinderella and I also enjoyed “Little Red Riding Golly Gee Whang” which is an unusual treatment on molestation with an important moral and twist on the original “Red Riding Hood“.
The magnificent illustrations (Provided with kind courtesies of the Author and Publisher) are designed with intricate care by Prue Theobalds who I’d love to visit Barbados and conduct an Exhibition on her drawings for this book alone! Her style is a mixture of Patrick Foster and Aubrey Berardsley, yet very contemporary.
Don’t take my word for it, be it pictures or text, get your copy of “The Prissy Princess” wherever top Bajan books are sold!