By Kei Miller
'Richly nuanced and empathetic . . . a vivid modern fable' Guardian
From the winner of the Forward Prize, a magical and haunting novel set in the underbelly of Jamaica.
WINNER OF THE OCM BOCAS PRIZE FOR CARIBBEAN LITERATURE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE, THE GREEN CARNATION PRIZE, and the HISTORICAL WRITERS AWARD
'Miller's storytelling is superb' SUNDAY TIMES
One April day in Augustown, Jamaica. Ma Taffy, old and blind, sits in her usual spot on the veranda. No matter how the world tilts around her, come hurricane or riot, she knows everything that goes on in this small community. Which is why, when her six-year-old nephew returns home from school with his dreadlocks shorn, she realises that trouble won't be far behind. And so she tells him the story of Alexander Bedward, the flying preacherman. She remembers what happened to the Rastaman and his helper, Bongo Moody; she thinks of Soft-Paw, the leader of the Angola gang, and what lies beneath her house. For trouble is brewing once more among the ramshackle lanes of Augustown, and as Ma Taffy knows, each day contains much more than its own hours, or minutes, or seconds. In fact, each day contains all of history...
Kei Miller was born in Jamaica in 1978. He is the author of three novels, THE SAME EARTH, THE LAST WARNER WOMAN and AUGUSTOWN, several collections of poetry and a book of short stories, THE FEAR OF STONES, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book. In 2014, he won the prestigious Forward Prize for Poetry for his collection, THE CARTOGRAPHER TRIES TO MAP A WAY TO ZION. He teaches Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.
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- Publication date:
11 May 2017
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Driven by atmosphere more than plot, the language is as clear as spring water — OBSERVER
Richly nuanced and empathetic . . . a vivid modern fable — GUARDIAN
Like a wide-angled lens, Miller's novel fits much into a small frame - Augustown itself, Rastafari, gang and police violence, religious opposition to colonial rule - but still gives an impression of space — DAILY TELEGRAPH
Truly panoramic — SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Miller's storytelling is superb, its power coming from the seamless melding of the magical and the everyday, which gives his novel a significant fabular quality — Sunday Times