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.
Chronicles the families of three siblings who survived a shipwreck off the Virgin Islands in 1916 and raised three generations on the islands, adapting to the unique language, rhythm and magic of island life over 60 years.
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.
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.
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.
This book examines representations of violence across the postcolonial world—from the Americas to Australia—in novels, short stories, plays, and films. The chapters move from what appear to be interpersonal instances of violence to communal conflicts such as civil war, showing how these acts of violence are specifically rooted in colonial forms of abuse and oppression but constantly move and morph. Taking its cue from theories in such fields as postcolonial, violence, gender, and trauma studies, the book thus shows that violence is slippery in form, but also fluid in nature, so that one must trace its movement across time and space to understand even a single instance of it. When analysing such forms and trajectories of violence in postcolonial creative writing and films, the contributors critically examine the ethical issues involved in narrating abuse, depicting violated bodies, and presenting romanticized resolutions that may conceal other forms of violence.
“To read their stories felt to me the way I suspect other people feel hearing jazz for the first time,” recalls Curtis Sittenfeld of her initial encounter with the Best American Short Stories series. “They were windows into emotions I had and hadn’t had, into other settings and circumstances and observations and relationships.” Decades later, Sittenfeld was met by the same feeling selecting the stories for this year’s edition. The result is a striking and nuanced collection, bringing to life awkward college students, disgraced public figures, raunchy grandparents, and mystical godmothers. To read these stories is to experience the transporting joys of discovery and affirmation, and to realize that story writing in America continues to flourish. THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2020 INCLUDES T. C. BOYLE • EMMA CLINE • MARY GAITSKILL ANDREA LEE • ELIZABETH McCRACKEN • ALEJANDRO PUYANA WILLIAM PEI SHIH • KEVIN WILSON and others
Caribbean women have long utilized the medium of fiction to break the pervasive silence surrounding abuse and exploitation. Contemporary works by such authors as Tiphanie Yanique and Nicole Dennis-Benn illustrate the deep-rooted consequences of trauma based on gender, sexuality, and race, and trace the steps that women take to find safer ground from oppression. Taking Flight examines the immigrant experience in contemporary Caribbean women’s writing and considers the effects of restrictive social mores. In the texts examined in Taking Flight, culturally sanctioned violence impacts the ability of female characters to be at home in their bodies or in the spaces they inhabit. The works draw attention to the historic racialization and sexualization of black women’s bodies and continue the legacy of narrating black women’s long-standing contestation of systems of oppression. Arguing that there is a clear link between trauma, shame, and migration, with trauma serving as a precursor to the protagonists’ emigration, Jennifer Donahue focuses on how female bodies are policed; how moral, racial, and sexual codes are linked; and how the enforcement of social norms can function as a form of trauma. Donahue considers the relationship between trauma, shame, and sexual politics and investigates how shame works as a social regulator that frequently leads to withdrawal or avoidant behaviors in those who violate socially sanctioned mores. Most importantly, Taking Flight positions flight as a powerful counter to disempowerment and considers how flight, whether through dissociation or migration, functions as a form of resistance.
“Oddný Eir is an authentic author, philosopher and mystic. She weaves together diaries and fiction. She is the writer I feel can best express the female psyche of now and has bridged the gap between rural Iceland and Western philosophy. A true pioneer!!!!!!!!” —Björk The winner of the Icelandic Women’s Literature Prize in 2012, Land of Love and Ruins is the debut novel by a daring new voice in international fiction: Oddný Eir. Written in the form of a diary but with fantastical linguistic verve, the narrator sets out on a universal quest: to find a place to belong—and a way of being in the world. Paradoxically, her longing to settle down drives her to embark on all kinds of journeys, physical and mental, through time and space, in order to find answers to questions that concern not only her personally, but also the whole of humankind. She explores various modes of living, ponders different types of relationships and contemplates her bond with her family, land and nation; trying to find a balance between companionship and independence, movement and stability, past, present, and future. An enchanting blend of autobiography, diary, philosophical inquiry, and fantasy, Land of Love and Ruins is a richly imagined and utterly unique book about being human in the modern world.