August 6th is Jamaican Independence Day! Here’s a list of fascinating books to read by Jamaican authors.
1.The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
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Yoon is known for her previous novel Everything,Everything which became a movie starring Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson and was widely successful raking up about $61 million in the box office.
The film adaptation of The Sun Is Also a Star is currently in production and the lead will be played by Grownish star, Yara Shahidi. The book is about a young Jamaican girl who is trying to save her family from deportation and a Korean boy uncertain about the future his parents have planned for him. Taking place in New York City in the span of twenty-four hours, its an interesting love story between two people from different worlds.
2. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
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This book takes place in the late 70’s and looks at the many dangers in Jamaica at that time. Told from different perspectives including those of journalists, drug dealers, and surprisingly even ghosts. A Brief History of Seven Killings spans twenty-plus years of Jamaican culture, referencing popular artist like Bob Marley.
James uniquely combines the history of Jamaican American and Jamaicans from the Island. This gripping story is soon to be adapted for television by Melina Matsoukas, also a Jamaican native.
3. How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs
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Recently released on July 24th, Arthurs’ debut book is a collection of stories from Jamaican immigrants and their relationship with their families back home. Arthurs reminds readers that to understand who you are you need to understand where you came from. Acknowledging the advantages and disadvantages in life, each story follows a person struggling to comprehend something about themselves that only they can understand.
4. Waiting in Vain by Colin Channer
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Published in 1998, Channer’s words captured the attention of audiences due to his spiritual beliefs and depiction of Jamaican culture. Also known as “Bob Marley with a Pen,” Channer gives his readers an insight into Jamaican.
In Waiting For Vain, Fire and Sylvia are have a connection that can’t be met in the middle, from the streets of London to walking down through Brooklyn, both characters seem to be flying high for their feelings for each other that will take some time to land.
5. Augustown by Kei Miller
Image via Penguin Random House
Miller won the Ford Prize for Augustown, a story which centers around one woman’s struggle to fight classicism, racism, and violence. Even though, Ma Taffy is blind she sees more than she wishes to, living through very difficult times. This modern fable shines light on the trials Jamaicans endured in the past.
Feature Image Via Geoffery Philips