Jamaican Novelist and Discussions of Race

Last night after a very busy day I got home to hear the last half of an absolutely delightful interview on National Public Radio’s show On Point with Tom Ashbrook;  the interview was with Jamaican novelist Marlon James —  who I first read about in the blogosphere from YardEdge.

James’s new novel, The Book of  Night Women, is an intriguing story out of our island’s past slavery, and touches on many topics that have currency in contemporary Jamaican.

But more than anything it was good to hear the frank discussion of race and pigment in Jamaica today —  and to learn more about the antecedents of certain modern Jamaican dilemmas.

  • The interview is available here.
  • Simply click the button that says Listen to This Show at the top.

I give it to you as a place-holder till I can get to tell you a story — one piece a story myself which is stranger than fiction. And emblematic of the dangers of blogging, and of designing this space for truth.

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7 thoughts on “Jamaican Novelist and Discussions of Race

  1. I got the book last week, but haven’t been able to start reading it. I’m saving it for when I have uninterrupted time; I might have to run away to the beach for a whole day, if necessary. Few books get that kind of treatment lately.

  2. I also heard the interview that evening – which I listened to with particular interest, as it resonated with something I’d come across in a previous Gleaner article (and subsequently blogged about) concerning a movement underway in Jamaica to seek reparations for the Island’s descendants of Slaves. James’ imagery was vivid and engaging – conceptually and thematically similar to another powerful Novel (this one set in Barbados) – The Polished Hoe, by Austin Clarke. I’ve added Night Women to my reading list and am looking forward to the experience.

  3. Hoping Marlon will come here and promote the book…and looking forward to your story too!

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