How to Love a Jamaican: Stories

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In her stunning debut collection, How to Love a Jamaican, Alexia Arthurs looks deeply into the fascinating lives of Jamaicans, living in their native land or abroad in the United States, with empathy and honesty. In “Light Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowlands,” two Jamaican students at NYU realize how their differences in upbringing have led them to hold contrasting views on race. “Slack” tells of how two twin six-year-old girls come to drown in a water tank while playing with their mermaid dolls. In “Bad Behavior,” winner of the Plimpton Prize, a teenage girl’s parents take her back to Jamaica to live with her grandmother in hopes to reform her. In “The Ghost of Jia Yi,” a Jamaican athlete studying in Iowa is troubled by the unsolved murder of an international student. Other stories include a resentful twin brother, a queer woman attending a friend’s wedding, a Jamaican teenager who is reunited with his mother in America, an elderly man who is thankful for his only son born to his mistress, and a pop star struggling with her fame.

Arthurs’ eleven short stories offer a moving exposition on the complexities of womanhood, sexuality, immigration, and race among Jamaicans. Arthurs celebrates the differences between people while also displaying how all of humanity is the same. Her variegated and thrilling reflections told through a host of memorable characters makes this a must-read collection.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 256 pages
Publisher Ballantine Books
Publish Date 2018-Jul-24
ISBN 9781524799205 Buy this Book
Issue October 2018
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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