So shamefully I had no idea it was Caribbean Heritage Month until my lovely Twitter friend Bushra (@bibliobushra) replied to my June TBR, making me aware!
I did my research and I found some Caribbean authors and stories that really interested me. I decided to do a post featuring the synopsis of the ones that caught my eye and the ones I have previously read and LOVED. It is so important to celebrate authors of all heritages so hopefully these picks will be ones featured on your bookshelves soon!
The Lonely Londoners – Sam Selvon
One I read during University and I honestly loved it. I think even now it is a topical matter. Although I don’t live (and never really plan on living) in London, I have read a lot of books about the experience of Black people living in London, especially as a result of the Windrush generation so The Lonely Londoners is definitely a narrative that needs to be heard.
Patsy – Nicole Dennis-Benn
Patsy yearns to escape the beautiful but impoverished Jamaican town where she was raised for a new life in New York and the chance to start afresh. Above all, she hopes to be reunited with her oldest friend, Cicely, and to rekindle their young love. But spreading her wings will come at a price: she must leave her five-year-old daughter, Tru, behind. And Patsy is soon confronted by the stark reality of life as an undocumented migrant in a hostile city.
Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of colour, whilst also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today.
Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny and sincere look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.
Cambridge – Caryl Phillips
Again, this is a book I read for one of modules at University. I really enjoyed it but I struggled with the racist language in this novel (which I suppose is the desired effect).
Set in that uneasy time between the abolition of the slave trade and the emancipation of the slaves, this is a story of Emily Cartwright, a young woman sent from England to visit her father’s West Indian plantation, and Cambridge, a plantation slave, educated by his first master in England.
A Brief of Seven Killings – Marlon James
Seven gunmen storm Bob Marley’s house, machine guns blazing. The reggae superstar survives, but the gunmen are never caught.
Spanning three decades and crossing continents, A Brief History of Seven Killings chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters – slum kids, drug lords, journalists, prostitutes, gunmen and even the CIA.
Golden Child – Claire Adam
One father. Two sons. An impossible choice.
When thirteen-year-old Paul doesn’t return home one afternoon, even his twin brother, Peter, doesn’t know where he is. So their father, Clyde, must set out into the dark Trinidadian bush with a torch, to search for him on foot.
And when the reasons for Paul’s disappearance become clear, Clyde will be faced with a terrible decision. How does a father choose between his children? How does he weigh up what each one is worth? Which one is the golden child?
The Confessions of Frannie Langton – Sara Collins
I read this back in February and I had never read a book like it. I loved how it is different to any other slave narrative I have read, just as Sara Collins set out to achieve.
For the first time Frannie must tell her story. It begins with a girl learning to read on a plantation in Jamaica, and it ends in a grand house in London, where a beautiful woman waits to be freed.
But through her fevered confessions, one burning question haunts Frannie Langton: could she have murdered the only person she ever loved?