Every since I got back from the Calabash Literary Festival, I've been obsessed with Jamaica. I've pledged allegiance to this tiny Jamaican restaurant near my house, chatted up any and every person I meet with a connection to Jamaica and read as many books by Jamaican authors as possible.
I finished She's Gone by Kwame Dawes as soon as I returned from Calabash. As one of the Calabash founders, I felt I owed it to him to read his book first. Next, I devoured Andrea Levy's , Fruit of the Lemon. Levy was born in London to Jamaican parents and writes about the Jamaican experience abroad. I loved this book because the main character, also a Jamaican born in London to Jamaican parents, struggles with an identity crisis, namely, trying to figure out what it means to be Black in a mostly White world.
Currently I am reading The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson. It's a fabulous tale based on a real-life incident that took place in Jamaica in 1946 involving American movie star, Errol Flynn. Loving it.
I think the reason I'm so attracted to Jamaican authors, besides their fantastic storytelling abilities, is that the meltingpot theme is so present in their work, whether the story takes place at home or abroad. So I'm just going to keep on reading my Jamaican authors and if anyone has a suggestion on who I should read next, send me a note.
BTW, Malcolm Gladwell and Zadie Smith. Did you know they were Jamaican?