Biography

Claudia Elizabeth Ruth Francis

I was born in the UK of Caribbean and Canadian parentage. I was privileged to receive a private education from age four. I thank my maternal grandmother for this early education and for liberal corporate sponsors for my secondary education. I made my nest young and as a 19yr old married woman, worked my way through college. Boarding school proved tough in the 1950s and especially for a child of colour or those considered foreign. But without that education and discipline I believe I would not have survived my later life in the UK and it gave me the confidence to not only raise an extended family of children, but also fight my way through the corporate sector in London for twenty years.

Claudia Ruth Francis

As a younger woman I travelled far in Europe, Turkey, North America, Canada and Africa, but chose to live in the Caribbean. I love the melting pot, the sea, natural beauty, country things; a way of life lost to so many people around the world.

And I believe the view from my family home is the most splendid view in the world.

My interests outside my business are many but include language and literature, the politics shaping Black and African history; and the well-fare of children wherever they might be.

(If you want to read more)

My parents met at an International hostel for students in London, UK. This mixed race baby barely survived the poorness and struggle of foreign student life in London. Black people were not welcome in most places and whites who mixed in those circles were also frowned upon.

My father came from Barbuda part of the twin Island state of Antigua and Barbuda, an independent country in the Eastern Caribbean. The maternal link was Vancouver which remains one of my favourite cities in the New World. Both parents were successful in their own right, my father specialising in criminal law in the Caribbean and later entering into politics; and my mother a teacher of indigenous folk and a published poet in Canada and England.

(My political overview)

No I was never a hippy as portrayed in the era of folks studying in the 1960s and 1970s on both sides of the Atlantic. Yes, I was an activist and my call for the recognition of the injustices heaped upon people of African origin in Africa and throughout the diaspora has never dimmed. I also stamped about wailing for the end to the appalling Vietnam War in both London and New York. I do possess a picture of me with my two older children on a march on Labour Day now mysteriously disappeared into May 1st holiday. My views on these major issues remain unchanged. My sadness is that so little from my younger days has changed for the better. Same kind of war, different country; who shall be allowed nuclear missiles, who shouldn’t; how many millions will die in African countries during the dry season as a result of ad hoc boundaries put in place by colonial powers who today remain the same controlling manipulative powers but under a different guise. In fact more people are dying and more civilians displaced as a result of corrupt policy than ever before. And few of the real decision makers are accountable. Indeed in my view, those leaders sent to The Court in The Hague has proved unjustifiably selective. There are several politicians or former leaders in public view who should be behind bars or made accountable to the global public for heinous crimes.

There are notable pockets of improvement in this world of relentless pain and suffering. Apartheid is no longer official in South Africa, the UK and Europe, and the USA. Civil rights have been extended to women and some minorities in a few countries. Reparations have been honoured in a small way to some groups who suffered at the hands of invaders to their world. But from my perspective, the 400 years of African slavery which built the foundations of modern European economies remains ignored; as do many of the countries and/or populations which were largely abandoned despite building Western wealth.

(As a Writer)

In recent years I have contributed as a feature writer and editor to the now legendary Food and Drink series in Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis and also the series of Caribbean Homes & Lifestyle. Now the same team have produced TABLEMANNERS a coffee table size book which won the GOURMAND award in Paris 2012 for the best designed cookbook in the world. I am proud to be a contributor to this book loved by chefs and the public alike. The next book in this series is SIMPLY ANTIGUA BARBUDA-THE BOOK launched in 2016.This is an extraordinary book for which I was invited to write the introduction. I have to mention that my own off-spring are largely responsible for these great books. You should find the links to these publications from this website.

(And so to my novels!)

I write about serious matters in a way that will engage the reader and frequently be seen through humorous eyes .Complex issues evolve from the pages recording modern history (with glimpses to the past) and telling the stories of characters who do exist .Yes, there are disclaimers to protect the identity of the Lions and their families. This will be fully understood once you have read The Road To Wadi Halfa, the seeds of which were planted in 2004 at the end of my book A Bigger Island which in 2007 became the second part of TIDES THAT BIND. Eventually THE ROAD TO WADI HALFA was published in 2008. Wadi means river bed and Halfa is a real location in southern Egypt. Roosevelt has kept a low profile since his return to London. Not surprising after that terrible ordeal orchestrated by Brayton- Harper, the obnoxious political scoundrel who continues to live in the south of France. Washington returned from the Yemen, thank goodness as we see the ongoing chaos which is unfolding there. Britain has recently approved another enormous deal in armaments which will continue to rain down on helpless citizens. And Lennox turned up in South Sudan which became the newest country in the world in 2012. Contact Former British PM Tony Blair for further information on that continuing disaster. Mr. Blair who like many hopeful citizens I voted for in 1997, metamorphosed into a creature I cannot describe in this short blog. There is a reference to him in MISSING (2013) but he won’t care. He is back from the Middle East and Africa offering his views on Europe. His failed policies go unnoticed and attract little comment. It is amazing what long term damage one politician can achieve, and yet today, his contribution to the current global catastrophe is all old news.

(Enjoy the books)

Tides That Bind is a made up of my first two novels Island Issues and A Bigger Island. The pace is slow as we get to know the main characters who are yet to mature and find their way in life. Location is mainly in The Caribbean and The UK. The second two novels The Road To Wadi Halfa and Missing are thrillers. The location is mainly Africa, France and the UK. Sadly they are as topical today as when they were written.

So until next time Blessings on you and yours. Blessings are hard to come by for most people in the world today so whatever Blessings you have, treasure them and try to share the Goodness with those around you.

Ruth

Claudia Elizabeth Ruth Francis

Contact/Email  Leewardpublishing @ candw.ag