Persad-Bissessar, who was present for the launch of the publication yesterday at the Casablanca Banquet Hall, Movietowne, Port-of-Spain said if elected, her government would work to develop the publishing industry which could benefit the economy through diversification, providing employment opportunities, gender equality and reducing crime.
“We are the nation and region that gave the world the living literary Nobel Prize winners Sir Vidia Naipaul and Derek Walcott, we gave the world Bob Marley, Carnival, Hoosay, Ramleela and soca and the steelpan and when we should be reaping the developmental and economical rewards of our intellectual creativity, we are forced to see them overtaken and stolen by the American and UK giant industries,” she said.
Rampersad in her address stated all proceeds from the sale of the book will fund local research and publishing. Persad-Bissessar acknowledged this, noting it was “the beginning of a valid and commendable effort to answer a desperate local need for local home grown material, research, books and a publishing line that will include fiction, poetry, biography, children’s books and social research and data.” She explained this was essential, particularly to address the need for local material to be used by children in the nation’s schools.
She applauded Rampersad’s effort to produce the 500 page publication, entitled Through the Political Glass Ceiling, Race to Prime Ministership by Trinidad and Tobago’s First Female, in three weeks’ time, which she said, represented a reverse in the decline of Trinidad and Tobago’s literature.
The book included an introduction written by Rampersad which Persad-Bissessar said “brings new life to debates on the place of race, class, ethnicity, gender, culture, geography or rural/urban factors in our politics and it certainly shows our politics in a new light.”
Rampersad noted the period leading up to the date of general election shows a side of society which is not seen at any other time. She added there are plans to reprint this publication and to produce a second edition which will include speeches that were not published in the first effort.