11 December 2021

Johnny-Cake Country celebrates 31 years

Johnny Cake Country Celebrates  31 years!

Johnny Cake Country” by Verna Penn Moll celebrates thirty-one  (31) years of publication with a book signing party for a second revised edition.

The first edition of Johnny-Cake Country published in 1990, travelled to libraries, institutions and homes around the world, including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Africa and Caribbean. Academic and public libraries in the UK and US ordered copies for their Caribbeana collections, and copies were donated in response to appeals for help from underfunded libraries, such as one in Kenya. Even Buckingham Palace has a copy in its library.

In September 1993, sales of Johnny-Cake Country seeded a Creative Writing Fund in the BVI and the Chief Education Officer at the time, stated that the book was being “placed in all the Public (Primary and Secondary) Schools as a supplement to the Language Curriculum.” I do not know how thoroughly that exercise was carried out.

However, the BVI Education Department has included “Johnny Cake Country” among the local books on its reading list for Schools in 2021, but booksellers were unable to satisfy new orders for it, as it was then out of stock; I had already sent my remaining stock of several hundred books to the Department for distribution to schools in 2017, after hurricanes Irma and Maria had devastated their libraries.

I, therefore decided to have “Johnny Cake Country” reprinted, but could not locate an electronic copy of the thirty one -year-old book, and no publisher or printer I approached quoted a reasonable package for doing the reprint.

Despite an accident that seriously injured my hand, I started the laborious task of transcribing “Johnny Cake Country” on to a laptop and scanning its delightful illustrations, manually. I was also able to correct some printing errors, and so decided to produce this revised edition, which also includes some completely new editorial content.

Everyone is invited to join the book signing first, At Island Services on Wednesday, Dec 15, 4.00pm- 5.00pm, and on the following day, Thurs Dec 16, 4.00pm, at Red Rock, Penn’s Landing, East End. All COVID protocols will be observed.

Overseas readers should fill in the Contact form to obtain copies

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