Miss Lou’s treasured stories and poems discovered at book sale in UK

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The National Library of Jamaica (NLJ) says a signed copy of one of the first books written by the late Dr Louise “Miss Lou” Bennett-Coverley has been discovered at a second-hand book sale in the United Kingdom (UK).

The book titled Anancy Stories and Jamaica Dialect Poems, which was written in 1944 and holds some of the first poems penned by the cultural icon, was unearthed in a fundraising book sale organised by the 1st Broomfield Scout Group (founded in 1918) led by Roger Cole and his wife Sue, NLJ said in a release today.

“When we found the book, rather than selling it, we did some research and contacted the National Library of Jamaica immediately” Cole was quoted as saying in the release.

Beverley Lashley, national librarian and CEO at the National Library of Jamaica, expressed delight at the discovery. “We at the NLJ are all about building the national collection, and we are truly ecstatic that the NLJ will have this treasure to share with Jamaicans and the world,” she said.

NLJ said an official handing-over ceremony was held at the office of the Jamaican High Commission in London on May 29.

The collection is said to feature ‘Anancy’, the trickster spider-man who was imported from the Ashanti tribe of West Africa, by slaves.

Anancy became emblematic of the trials and triumphs of the African descendants in Jamaica.