Joanne C. Hillhouse’s writing has been described as “honest”, “real”, “poetic”, and “lyrical”. Her Antiguan culture is at the heart of her writing: “Obvious is the ‘writer’s ear’ for effective characterization and narrative that stays true to Caribbean island experience” (Island Where, St. Lucia).
Joanne has read at Brown University, University of Miami, Middlebury College, University of Toronto, and at the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars conference in Suriname. She was keynote speaker when University of Puerto Rico held its annual Islands in-Between conference at the Antigua State College; the inaugural author in New York at the Meet the Author series hosted by the Friends of Antigua Public Library, which also hosted the New York launch of Oh Gad!; and a speaker and panelist at the 13th annual conference of the ACWWS and the BIM symposium Celebrating Caribbean Women Writers. She was sponsored by the Commonwealth with a small group of Antiguan and Barbudan writers to attend the Calabash Literary Festival in Jamaica; and has also been a part over the years of the Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival.
She has published poetry and fiction in Caribbean, African, and American journals including The Caribbean Writer, Small Axe, Calabash, Mythium, Sea Breeze, Tongues of the Ocean, Poui and others. In 2008, a Moonlight street festival celebrating her book Dancing Nude in the Moonlight capped off an “official summer read” campaign organized by the Best of Books bookstore and the ABILF.
As a freelance journalist and writer, Joanne has received health and environmental awards; published feature articles in Americas, Caribbean Beat, CLR James Journal, Zing plus. She’s worked in local television/film—including as associate producer of Antigua’s first feature length film The Sweetest Mango and production manager on its second, No Seed. She’s consulted on campaigns by the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation, Environmental Awareness Group (Antigua), the Commonwealth Youth Programme, the Antigua and Barbuda Waste Recycling Corporation, and others; as well as corporate, book, and anthology projects.
Writing and reading have remained her twin passions, however: “I was influenced to write by my desire to tell stories, to impact readers in the way that my favourite stories impacted me…I’m just a sucker for a good story.”
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Strebor Books;
Original edition (April 17, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
A stirring novel about a woman facing cross-cultural odds and redefining everything she understands about her family, herself, and the country she’s never really been able to call home.
Nikki Baltimore was born in Antigua but grew up with her dad in the United States. With each year, she’s grown further apart from her mother and maternal siblings, potters in rural Antigua.
Her mother’s funeral brings Nikki back to the island, and, at a professional and personal crossroads, she makes the impulsive decision to stay after being offered a job by the ruling government. Soon, Nikki is embroiled in a hurricane of an existence which includes a political hot potato, confusion in her romantic life, and deepening involvement in the lives of the family she left behind.
Will Nikki eventually find her place in the chaos and begin to plant the roots or continue to blow in the wind?
Nude in the Moonlight
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Paperback: 138 pages
Publisher: Macmillan Caribbean (March 12, 2004)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
Joanne C Hillhouse is a freelance journalist, winner of Antigua's Environmental Journalist of the Year Award 2002. Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, with its sensitive exploration of the lives of immigrants in Antigua from the Dominican Republic, is her second novel. Her first novel, also published in the Macmillan Caribbean Writers Series, was the finely crafted coming-of-age story The Boy from Willow Bend, for which she has written the screenplay. She was associate producer and production manager for Antigua's first two locally produced full-length independent films, The Sweetest Mango and No Seed. She writes poetry as well as fiction, and had her first piece published while she was still at school. Since then her work ahs appeared in publications both in Antigua and internationally.
Boy from Willow Bend
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Paperback: 95 pages
Publisher: Turnaround (November 5, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
This Hillhouse's first book, The Boy from Willow Bend, is on the schools reading list in Antigua and Barbuda.
The Boy from Willow Bend tells the story of Vere, an Antiguan youth, with an irrepressible spirit which is tested as he comes of age amid poverty, loss, and hard knocks. The women in his life - his absent mother, longsuffering tanty, rebellious June, first crushes Kim and Makeba, and first girlfriend Elizabeth - help shape him; so, too, his abrasive grandfather and others. In the end, though, he grows into his own person; bright, talented, a survivor.
(poetry; self-published; Antigua) – 2003