TANTI AT DE OVAL

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TANTI AT DE OVAL BY PAUL KEENS-DOUGLAS

Paul Keens-Douglas is a Trinidadian born playwright, writer and performer who was born in September of 1492 in San Juan but spent his early childhood in Grenada. One of Paul Keens-Douglas’ stories entitled “Tanti at de Oval” was published in 1992. This story was written to give the readers a colourful illustration of lifestyle in the Caribbean. The story is about the writer’s aunt, Tanti Merle and her first visit to the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad to watch a cricket match between the Combined islands and Trinidad. The story describes Tanti Merle as a colourful character who likes to be in control or as most Caribbean people would say “she likes her own way”. She is loud and embarrassing to the speaker and her actions show that she doesn’t mind what others think of her.
Tanti Merle is written in the first person as Paul Keens-Douglas tells about the antics of Tanti Merle from her preparation for the trip to the oval to her behavior at the game. He also shares how Tanti Merle embarrassed herself and her companion at the oval. Some of her antics include her large basket of food, her selection of a taxi and her loud cheering at the match. The story however, ends in a climax as the match concludes in a draw and Tanti Merle almost causing a riot among the spectators. Paul Keens-Douglas writes “Dat same Tanti Merle dat look as if butter can’t melt in she mouth. It take me bout two hours to get she out de oval. She lose de basket an de parasol mash-up”.
In the story “Tanti at de Oval” by Paul Keens-Douglas certain aspects of the Caribbean were highlighted. These include the significance of cricket, the dialectal language and also the rivalry fostered by local sports. Cricket is seen as a significant sport in the Caribbean. It is a game of high and difficult technique which continues to be a unifying force in the Caribbean.1 In the story, the speaker is known as one that has a love and passion for cricket. He is



References: http://repeatingislands.com/2013/02/01/paul-keens-douglas-tanti-at-de-oval/ http://caribbean-beat.com/issue-10/telling-tales-caribbean-storytelling .

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