COVID -19 has forced a general slowdown of life, where industries and businesses have either halted or stopped altogether.
But one thing that has boomed recently in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – is the publication of books.
Since the beginning of 2021, six new books have been published, with topics ranging from gastronomy to conservation to history.
Seychelles News Agency reviews six books now out on local bookshelves.
Sootina’s Story was launched earlier this month by Professor Chris Feare, a renowned scientist with over 40 years conducting research on the birds in Seychelles. The book tells the story of Sootina, a female sooty tern, and her journey from hatching on Bird Island, flying off for adventures across the Indian Ocean then returning to Bird Island to breed.
Through Sootina’s eyes children can learn about the marine ecosystem and its threats: climate change, overfishing, and challenging weather conditions – and maybe even inspire a future science career. The children’s book can be bought for US$7.
A History of Seychelles from its Origins to Present Day
Possibly one of the rarest publications of the island, A History of Seychelles from its Origins to Present Day tells the history of Seychelles and its people from the arrival of the first settlers in August 1770 down to the last general elections in October 2020.
Launched in July, it is described as an exclusive production that is lavishly illustrated as a wealth of knowledge for students, adults and visitors. It also contains documents never before published pertaining to the history of the island nation.
These include Seychelles oldest document, dated 1771 signed by Pierre Poivre. Nine people wrote different chapters of the book: Glynn Burridge (editor-in-chief), Tony Mathiot, William McAteer, Bernard George, Penda Choppy, Philippe Michaud, Bernard Shamlaye, Marie France Watson and Richard Touboul. This book is on sale for US$137.
Le Ravin de Fond Ferdinand
The book is about Le Ravin de Fond Ferdinand, the biggest reserve on Praslin – the second-most populated island – where the world’s biggest nut, the coco-de-mer grows in its natural state.
Launched in July the book is a collaboration between Steen G Hansen, local biologist and environmentalist, Victorin Laboudallon and former tour guide Gemma Jessy.
Through its 110 pages the book covers the reserve’s history together with its different vegetation types, selected plants and animals, and ongoing conservation efforts of Fond Ferdinand. The story comes in an easy-to-read format and is quite fascinating. Locals and visitors can purchase the book for US$23.
Victoria: A Historical Journey Through Photographs
Victoria: A Historical Journey through Photographs is the title of a mainly pictorial history book produced by the Department of Culture to commemorate 250 years of the capital city Victoria.
The 114-page publication pays tribute to the history and development of Victoria and its surrounding districts from the 1800s to 2020, illustrated with black and white as well as coloured photographs.
Most of the photographs in the book depict architecture and sites in strategic locations with different uses telling unique stories of how Victoria came to be and projecting also where it might be going in the future. The photo book can be purchased for US$44.
En Tapi Pyeste
Authored by Robert Mondon, this collection of short Creole stories is the first publication made with the assistance of the National Arts and Culture fund.
The book entitled En Tapi Pyeste – which means a patched tablecloth in English – was launched on April 23 to coincide with World Book and Copyright Day.
En Tapi Pyeste is made up of short stories based on different themes including love, violence and substance abuse among others. The book, which is for mature readers, is on sale for US$19.
Cook & Share
Cook & Share, launched in January, is a gastronomy book by a Seychellois living in Silvaplana, Switzerland. It is inspired by recipes shared on a Facebook page with the same name.
Pierre Savy – a home chef, as he refers to himself – is a foodie who hopes that the collection of Seychellois and international dishes will inspire more people with a passion for cooking to not only cook but to share their dishes and recipes.The book is a compilation of Savy’s most liked, commented and shared recipes on his social media page, created in April 2020, which currently has over 25,000 members. The book costs US$24. – Seychelles News Agency