Palmer, C. Everard 1930–
Palmer, C. Everard 1930–
(Cyril Everard Palmer)
PERSONAL: Born October 15, 1930, in Kendal, Jamaica; son of Cyril (a farmer) and Vida Palmer. Ethnicity: "African Canadian." Education: Mico Training College, teaching diploma, 1955; Lakehead University, B.A., 1973.
ADDRESSES: Home—2590 Argyle Rd., No. 1109, Mississauga, Ontario L5B 1V3, Canada.
CAREER: Worked as a teacher in Ontario, Canada, in 1950s and 1960s; teacher in Red Rock, Ontario, 1971–; writer.
A Broken Vessel (novel), Pioneer Press (Kingston, Jamaica), 1960.
The Adventures of Jimmy Maxwell, Jamaica Publications Branch, Ministry of Education, 1962.
The Cloud with the Silver Lining, illustrated by Laszlo Acs, Andre Deutsch (London, England), 1966, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1967.
Big Doc Bitterroot, illustrated by Laszlo Acs, Andre Deutsch (London, England), 1970, Bobbs-Merrill (Indianapolis, IN), 1971.
The Sun Salutes You, illustrated by Laszlo Acs, Andre Deutsch (London, England), 1970, Bobbs-Merrill (Indianapolis, IN), 1971.
The Hummingbird People, illustrated by Laszlo Acs, Andre Deutsch (London, England), 1971.
A Cow Called Boy, illustrated by Charles Gaines, Bobbs-Merrill (Indianapolis, IN), 1971.
The Wooing of Beppo Tate, illustrated by Laszlo Acs, Bobbs-Merrill (Indianapolis, IN), 1972.
Baba and Mr. Big, illustrated by Lorenzo Lynch, Bobbs-Merrill (Indianapolis, IN), 1972.
My Father Sun-Sun Johnson, illustrated by Laszlo Acs, Andre Deutsch (London, England), 1974.
A Taste of Danger, Ministry of Education, 1976.
A Dog Called Houdini, illustrated by Maurice Wilson, Andre Deutsch (London, England), 1978.
Beppo Tate and Roy Penner: The Runaway Marriage Brokers, Andre Deutsch (London, England), 1980.
Houdini, Come Home, illustrated by Maurice Wilson, Andre Deutsch (London, England), 1981.
Full Circle: The Rami Johnson Story, Macmillan (New York, NY), 2003.
ADAPTATIONS: My Father Sun-Sun Johnson was adapted for film.
SIDELIGHTS: C. Everard Palmer is a Jamaica-born writer who has published many children's books. After earning a teaching diploma, he left his native country and settled in Canada, where he began working as a teacher in the 1950s. He began his writing career with the novel A Broken Vessel, and he followed it with his first children's book, The Adventures of Jimmy Maxwell. Palmer produced no further books until 1966, when he published The Cloud with the Silver Lining. This children's story, which concerns the efforts of two Jamaican boys to maintain the family's livelihood after their grandfather suffers an accident, was described by Mary Croxson in Twentieth-Century Children's Writers as "warm and gentle."
Since then Palmer has published several additional children's books set in Jamaica. Big Doc Bitterroot is the story of an incompetent physician who convinces ignorant villagers that he is an accomplished doctor, then inadvertently exposes his own stupidity by prescribing the wrong cure to a patient. In The Sun Salutes You, two villagers vie for dominance in local trucking, while in The Hummingbird People members of rival villages both launch plans to celebrate returning soldiers. "The 'jollifying' of their plans and counter-plans," according to Croxson, has the book "humming with exuberance." In The Wooing of Beppo Tate Palmer emphasizes the comedic aspects of two courting couples, while in A Cow Called Boy disruption ensues when a child's pet calf accompanies him into his schoolroom. Among Palmer's further tales set in Jamaica are Baba and Mr. Big, wherein possession of a hawk proves crucial to an older man, and My Father Sun-Sun Johnson, in which a youth builds a life together with his father after his parents end their marriage. Palmer's other writings include A Dog Called Houdini and Houdini, Come Home, two stories about a dog's escapades in northern Canada.
When asked about his writing, Palmer told CA: "Nothing has influenced my writing more than the farming village in which I grew up. It teemed with down-to-earth characters. There were laughs everywhere and in everything. Even in tragedy the people bubbled. They have provided me with several character models.
"The first draft of any story is written with a pen. After it has been edited I do a rough draft on a typewriter. The third and final draft is also done on a typewriter. Now that I have acquired a computer, the process might undergo some change, but the first draft will still be written with pen and ink. Of all my books, my favorites are The Cloud with the Silver Lining, A Cow Called Boy, and My Father Sun Sun Johnson."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1995.
Books and Bookmen, May, 1970.
Times Literary Supplement, April 16, 1970.