Great Bay, St. Martin — Vincentian N.C. Marks has written “Plastered in Pretty”, a new pop culture novel published here by House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).
Marks has written a “ferocious depiction” of a world dominated by social media appearances, said Gerty Dambury, a Prix Carbet author based in France.
HNP and the author will launch the book at Curator’s House, Botanical Gardens, Kingstown, St. Vincent, next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Plastered in Pretty is “a dystopian tale set in a Caribbean paradise. Facebook and Instagram are virtual religious icons. A pyromaniac burns a new-born in the late night, and civil servants chat only via WhatsApp,” said HNP president Jacqueline Sample.
Marks gave a sneak preview of Plastered in Pretty at Montserrat’s literary festival on Nov. 16. Audiences and book buyers were introduced to her fictional “friends with benefits, ‘Persons With Pedigree,’ and flamboyant vagrants,” Sample said.
New readers will also encounter “a car accident victim in distress over her $1,000-hairpiece, a government minister’s ‘mysterious snake,’ and a church first lady protecting her psychopathic son with hush money. Yet the willful but fragile protagonist is not yet among this list of characters,” Sample further stated.
This uncustomary Caribbean novel is a seething 128 pages. It is “A must read glimpse of the digital age impact on the obsession with the need to be ‘liked’ and ‘pretty’ … with surprises,” said Oral Gibbes, producer/host of Speaking of Everything, St. Martin’s leading TV talkshow.
While often funny, whether racing through Vincentian society, a Colombian prison, or embarrassment at a haute couture make-up counter in Paris, Plastered in Pretty takes no prisoners, Sample said.
Cindy Peters, from Clark Atlanta University’s Department of Political Science, puts it like this: “Personal tragedy, body shaming, love triangles, sexual harassment intersect with challenges young adults face from materialism, globalization and unkind political systems. A cleverly written short novel.”
Plastered in Pretty’s bold cover is by the award-winning graphic designer Carole Maugé-Lewis. The striking digital portrait dominating the cover is entitled Dark girl, by illustrator Nguyen Thanh Nhan.
Marks is a University of London alumna and teaches geography at St. Vincent Girls’ High School.