Author, Shirley Osborne

Shirley Osborne Takes on Goliath in New Novel Launching at AFW LitFest 

Shirley Osborne turns the longstanding biblical story of Goliath on its head to tell a story about women’s resilience and overcoming in her latest book.

Goliath will be launched at the Author’s Gala during Montserrat’s premier literary event; the Alliouagana Festival of the Word from November 18 to 20, 2021.

Osborne, who is a former Speaker of the House for Montserrat and a women’s leadership advocate pens a novel which is her take on recent events which pitted several Davids against a Goliath.

GOLIATH cover

In her novel, Taavi “Tee’ Seymour Golyat is a high-flying, high-powered politician and British-trained lawyer with local notoriety and an international reputation awaiting trial on The Little Island. Golyat is accused of money laundering, sex crimes and human trafficking. In the days before the trial begins, six women connected to him arrive on the island. These women discover how their lives are intricately linked and that they possess power and the will that can outwit giants.

“New research has shown that the Goliath we learned about in Sunday School may not have been as strong or as mighty as we believed. He had medical deficiencies that while on the surface he looked powerful made him quite vulnerable. David may not have been much of an underdog when you understand how wars were won in ancient times and that his mastery of a sling and a stone was a skill that was respected and revered in armies,” shared Osborne.

“Goliath is very much grounded in recent events, and in what is perceived as the norms of our society. It is a celebration of the resilience that Montserratian women show in all kinds of ways,” the author explained.

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It is a story of inequality and improbable victories. Just as in the bible where Goliath was considered the experienced warrior and David a mere a shepherd, Tina a military veteran and her estranged mother Missie must battle their own demons even as they come to grips with the pain that Tee has brought to their lives and that of the other women they encounter.

Osborne’s Goliath takes on themes of power and the perceptions of power, how small societies function, our relationship with power, and women’s stories. She also tackles men exploiting women’s powerlessness.

“I hope it helps Montserratian women develop their own resilience. The world needs many more women in leadership. The women in the story made decisions, not necessarily the best for others but what was necessary to get themselves through,” said the writer.

Osborne has written for publications including The Montserrat Reporter, Jamaica Gleaner, Huffington Post and The Parliamentarian, and facilitated discussions for UN Women, the Anti-Defamation League and MTV’s Fight for Your Rights.

She is the author of The State of Arizona’s Girls: Take NoteMake Change, Tolerance is No Virtue: Ignorance, Appreciation, and the Human Story, which critics have compared to the seminal Hannah Arendt book, “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” The Children Are Only AfraidLEAD GOOD: A handbook for Political Women, and a collection of short stories entitled, Raised By an Island, which is currently being readied for its 2nd Edition. When Women Lead or Some of the Myriad Reasons Why Many Women in Leadership = A Better World was recently published.

Goliath, a study of power and exploitation in fiction will be released at the Author’s Gala on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 6PM  at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.  

The 13th Annual Alliouagana Festival of the Word is presented with the kind support of the Montserrat Arts Council, Goldenmedia, Governor’s Office, Digicel, Montserrat Public Library, Department of Environment, St. Patrick’s Cooperative Credit Union, Montserrat Volcano Observatory, and Friends of AFW LitFest.

Follow the 2021 literary festival activities on Facebook at #AFWLitFest or www.litfest.ms.