Monday, November 9, 2015

"The Green Stick" by Reg van Cuylenburg

I remember meeting Reg van Cuylenburg in the 1970s in Ojai, California--he was the husband of my friend Margaret Dodd. I knew he was an artist, but I had no real idea about his origins and upbringing in early 20th century Ceylon. 

In this memoir, posthumously published by Margaret's Blue Palm Press, Reg presents a loving picture of his childhood--one that glows with fairytale light. The story is dominated by his grandfather, a true guardian angel; poetic descriptions of the historic family home in Kandy; and the rites of passage that marked his transition from young boy to young man. You will not soon forget the story of the thunderbox. 

The entire volume is illustrated with Reg's photographs of Ceylon's natural beauty, people, and places. I found The Green Stick to be a heartwarming and worthwhile read--a book I would highly recommend to anyone interested in an artfully told memoir and a glimpse of the Ceylon of yesteryear. Available at or directly from Blue Palm Press, PO Box 61255, Santa Barbara, CA 93160 (order form below)