On Sale: June 18, 2019
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Hardcover (August 2018)
Literature and Fiction
Tenderness and cruelty, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and
regretâ€”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 â€śLight-Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowlands,â€ť an NYU student
befriends a fellow Jamaican whose privileged West Coast
upbringing has blinded her to the hard realities of race. In
â€śMash Up Love,â€ť a twinâ€™s chance sighting of his estranged
brotherâ€”the prodigal son of the familyâ€”stirs up unresolved
feelings of resentment. In â€śBad Behavior,â€ť a couple leave
their wild teenage daughter with her grandmother in Jamaica,
hoping the old ways will straighten her out. In â€śMermaid
River,â€ť a Jamaican teenage boy is reunited with his mother
in New York after eight years apart. In â€śThe Ghost of Jia
Yi,â€ť a recently murdered student haunts a despairing
Jamaican athlete recruited to an Iowa college. And in
â€śShirley from a Small Place,â€ť a world-famous pop star
retreats to her motherâ€™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 fictionâ€™s most dynamic and essential
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