Tuesday, 18 September 2018

TALLAWAH BOOK CLUB: How to conquer your fears + How the C’bean shaped the US + How to love Jamaicans

OUR KIND OF PEOPLE: We love the title, but according to the critics and fans of the book, it’s deceptively simple. Alexia Arthurs’ debut collection of short stories, How to Love a Jamaican, dives deep into the fictionalized lives of Jamaican immigrants and their families back home. Published by Ballantine Books and packing some 256 pages, her 11 stories tackle myriad themes, chiefly loyalty and betrayal, tenderness and cruelty, while offering readers an unforgettable “portrait of a nation and people and their way of life.” In “Shirley from a Small Place,” for instance, a world-famous pop star retreats to her mother’s new house in a rural part of the island. Other very telling story titles include “Mash Up Love,” “The Ghost of Jia Yi,” “Bad Behaviour” and “Light-Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowlands.” The glowing reviews speak volumes of Arthurs’ storytelling prowess. “With its singular mix of psychological and sun-kissed lyricism, this dazzling debut marks the emergence of a knock-out new voice,” proclaims O Magazine, while Marie Claire raves, “Arthurs’ debut is vivid and exciting, and every story rings beautifully true.” 


>> In addition to PNPYO president, youth activist and expectant mom, Krystal Tomlinson has added first-time author to her impressive résumé, recently launching the motivational offering, Kill Fear: The Art of Courageous Living. “The book looks at the root causes of fear,” she explains, “the science behind how the fear works, identifying the fear you have and tools to beat that fear in a corner.”

>> Historians will thank Debbie Jacob for Making Waves: How the West Indies Shaped the United States. Published by Ian Randle Press, the book gives an account, via 30 stories, of some famous and lesser-known Caribbean sons and daughters who significantly helped shape American society from the 1700s to the present. You’ll encounter “exciting and vivacious” tales centred on Alexander Hamilton, Sidney Poitier and Marcus Garvey, but you’ll also be enlightened about how a West Indian woman started the witch hysteria in Salem and the crucial yet unsung role Barbados played in the American Revolutionary War.

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