Recipient of the 2014 American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Foundation Award A major debut from an award-winning writer—an epic family saga set against the magic and the rhythms of the Virgin Islands. In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half brother, now faced with an uncertain identity and future. Each of them is unusually beautiful, and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them. Chronicling three generations of an island family from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning is a novel of love and magic, set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world. Uniquely imagined, with echoes of Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, and the author’s own Caribbean family history, the story is told in a language and rhythm that evoke an entire world and way of life and love. Following the Bradshaw family through sixty years of fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, love affairs, curses, magical gifts, loyalties, births, deaths, and triumphs, Land of Love and Drowning is a gorgeous, vibrant debut by an exciting, prizewinning young writer.
From the award-winning author of Land of Love and Drowning, an electric new novel that maps the emotional inheritance of one couple newly in love. When Fly and Stela meet in 21st Century New York City, it seems like fate. He's a Black American musician from a mixed-religious background who knows all about heartbreak. She's a Catholic science teacher from the Caribbean, looking for lasting love. But are they meant to be? The answer goes back decades--all the way to their parents' earliest loves. Vibrant and emotionally riveting, Monster in the Middle moves across decades, from the U.S. to the Virgin Islands to Ghana and back again, to show how one couple's romance is intrinsically influenced by the family lore and love stories that preceded their own pairing. What challenges and traumas must this new couple inherit, what hopes and ambitions will keep them moving forward? Exploring desire and identity, religion and class, passion and obligation, the novel posits that in order to answer the question "who are we meant to be with?" we must first understand who we are and how we came to be.
Two sisters are suddenly sent from their home in Brooklyn to Barbados to live with their grandmother, in this stunning debut novel This lyrical novel of community, betrayal, and love centers on an unforgettable matriarchal family in Barbados. Two sisters, ages ten and sixteen, are exiled from Brooklyn to Bird Hill in Barbados after their mother can no longer care for them. The young Phaedra and her older sister, Dionne, live for the summer of 1989 with their grandmother Hyacinth, a midwife and practitioner of the local spiritual practice of obeah. Dionne spends the summer in search of love, testing her grandmother’s limits, and wanting to go home. Phaedra explores Bird Hill, where her family has lived for generations, accompanies her grandmother in her role as a midwife, and investigates their mother’s mysterious life. This tautly paced coming-of-age story builds to a crisis when the father they barely know comes to Bird Hill to reclaim his daughters, and both Phaedra and Dionne must choose between the Brooklyn they once knew and loved or the Barbados of their family. Jackson’s Barbados and her characters are singular, especially the wise Hyacinth and the heartbreaking young Phaedra, who is coming into her own as a young woman amid the tumult of her family. Praise for The Star Side of Bird Hill “Jackson has written a first novel full of heart and heartbreak, a novel about going home, about the ties that bind three generations of women across years and despite absence. It is a bittersweet lesson in learning to recognize love.” —Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection) “Naomi Jackson has written a tender novel exploring the complexities of motherhood and childhood. The Star Side of Bird Hill holds together opposing elements—the book is quiet in the telling, but the story being told is sharp and vibrant. It is as much a story of the fears of childhood as it is a story about welcoming old age with optimism. A book that knows death and discovery. A book laced with pain but shimmering with hope. With care, the narrative addresses huge issues, such as mental illness, mortality, sexuality, and, at its very core, what it means to love another person as they are.” —Tiphanie Yanique, author of Land of Love and Drowning
Motherhood is life-changing. Joyful. Disorientating. Overwhelming. Intense on every level. It's the best, most awful job. The Best, Most Awful Job brings together twenty bold and brilliant women to speak about motherhood in all its raw, heart-wrenching, gloriously impossible forms. Overturning assumptions, breaking down myths and shattering stereotypes, these writers challenge our perceptions of what it means to be a mother - and ask you to listen. Contributors include: Michelle Adams (Between the Lies) Javaria Akbar (Vice, Refinery29, Buzzfeed contributor) Charlene Allcott (More than a Mum) MiMi Aye (Mandalay: Recipes and Tales from a Burmesse Kitchen) Jodi Bartle (The London Mother contributor) Sharmila Chauhan (The Husbands) Josie George (A Still Life: A Memoir) Leah Hazard (The Father's Home Birth Handbook) Joanne Limburg (The Woman Who Thought Too Much) Katherine May (Wintering) Susana Moreira Marques (Now and at the Hour of our Death) Dani McClain (We Live for the We, contributor to the Nation) Hollie McNish (Nobody Told Me: Poetry and Parenthood) Saima Mir(Guardian contributor, It's Not about the Burqa contributor) Carolina Alvarado Molk (New Letters contributor) Emily Morris (My Shitty Twenties) Jenny Parrott (Oneworld editor) Huma Qureshi (In Spite of Oceans) Peggy Riley (Amity & Sorrow) Michelle Tea (Modern Tarot and Black Wave) Tiphanie Yanique (Land of Love and Drowning)
Orphaned when her mother died in childbirth, Sheri Lambert is a lonely New York ad woman who decides to become a single mother. From the start, her son Zig displays strange behavior: He recalls people and places he couldn't possibly know and leads Sheri to a startling discovery of a hidden ancestry she never knew existed. From the urban grind of present-day Brooklyn to the shamans and rituals in the rain forests of 19th century Panama and Costa Rica, two interwoven stories collide. Sheri learns she must find the courage to trust Zig and his mystical guidance to uncover the secrets of her past...or remain lost from herself and the truth about her origins.
New love. Exotic destinations. A once-in-a-lifetime adventure. What could go wrong? City girl Torre DeRoche isn't looking for love, but a chance encounter in a San Francisco bar sparks an instant connection with a soulful Argentinean man who unexpectedly sweeps her off her feet. The problem? He's just about to cast the dock lines and voyage around the world on his small sailboat, and Torre is terrified of deep water. However, lovesick Torre determines that to keep the man of her dreams, she must embark on the voyage of her nightmares, so she waves good-bye to dry land and braces for a life-changing journey that's as exhilarating as it is terrifying. Somewhere mid-Pacific, she finds herself battling to keep the old boat, the new relationship, and her floundering sanity afloat. . . . This sometimes hilarious, often harrowing, and always poignant memoir is set against a backdrop of the world's most beautiful and remote destinations. Equal parts love story and travel memoir, Love with a Chance of Drowning is witty, charming, and proof positive that there are some risks worth taking.
Aloysius the Great is the story of Aloysius Gogarty, a young alcoholic American professor, pressured into becoming resident director of his college's study-abroad program in England. He departs resentful of the task foisted upon him, and disturbed at having to leave behind a woman he's recently become infatuated with. In England, Gogarty finds himself on a runaway roller-coaster of rebellious students, drugs, sex and academic politics. He continues to court his inamorata from afar and his alcoholism spirals out of control. Gogarty gets help in coping with his kaleidoscopic problems from an Oxford counterpart who is a wickedly witty and stalwart companion. They consume epic quantities of alcohol while concocting outlandish schemes to address these challenges. Miraculously, Gogarty not only survives this mayhem, but emerges a hero and crowns his achievements by coming to grips with his alcoholism. Gogarty's transatlantic courting also yields surprising results. Aloysius the Great is a treasure trove for admirers of James Joyce. Most of its chapters parallel episodes in Joyce's Ulysses. Many of its characters come from Ulysses and/or individuals significant in Joyce's life. Words and phrases from Ulysses (all within the public domain) are sprinkled harmoniously throughout the text and the reader is treated to a savory sampling of Joyce's prose. A number of novels drawing on classics of literary fiction have recently achieved critical acclaim. In this sense, Aloysius the Great is akin to such works as McBride's A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), Yanique's Land of Love and Drowning (Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude) and O'Neill's The Dog (Kafka's The Trial).