On Sale: July 24, 2018
Hardcover / e-Book
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Tenderness and cruelty, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and
regret—Alexia Arthurs navigates these tensions to
extraordinary effect in her debut collection about Jamaican
immigrants and their families back home. Sweeping from
close-knit island communities to the streets of New York
City and midwestern university towns, these eleven stories
form a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life.
In “Light-Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowlands,” an NYU student
befriends a fellow Jamaican whose privileged West Coast
upbringing has blinded her to the hard realities of race. In
“Mash Up Love,” a twin’s chance sighting of his estranged
brother—the prodigal son of the family—stirs up unresolved
feelings of resentment. In “Bad Behavior,” a couple leave
their wild teenage daughter with her grandmother in Jamaica,
hoping the old ways will straighten her out. In “Mermaid
River,” a Jamaican teenage boy is reunited with his mother
in New York after eight years apart. In “The Ghost of Jia
Yi,” a recently murdered student haunts a despairing
Jamaican athlete recruited to an Iowa college. And in
“Shirley from a Small Place,” a world-famous pop star
retreats to her mother’s big new house in Jamaica, which
still holds the power to restore something vital.
Alexia Arthurs emerges in this vibrant, lyrical, intimate
collection as one of fiction’s most dynamic and essential
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