How to Love a Jamaican
'In this thrilling debut collection Alexia Arthurs is all too easy to love.' - Zadie Smith
Tenderness and cruelty, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and regret – these are the tensions at the heart of Alexia Arthurs’ debut book about Jamaican immigrants and their families back home. Some stories ask big questions about the things that define a person, others explode small moments of deep significance and lasting effect. Sweeping from close-knit island communities to the streets of New York City, How to Love a Jamaican offers a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life.
Vibrant, lyrical and intimate, this collection of eleven short stories shows Alexia Arthurs to be one of the most dynamic and exciting young authors writing today. It includes the story ‘Bad Behavior’, for which she won the Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize.
Alexia Arthurs' How to love a Jamaican is sharp and kind, bitter and sweet. It stays in the yard, delicately attentive to the ways of country folks, and it leaves home with them, too, as they head to 'foreign' - that place across the water where barrels get filled to be sent back home and people are never quite as happy as they expected to be. In these kaleidoscopic stories of Jamaica and its diaspora we hear many voices at once: some cultivated, some simple, some wickedly funny, some deeply melancholic. All of them convince and sing. All of them shine. In this thrilling debut collection Alexia Arthurs is all too easy to love.
Alexia Arthurs is a writer of beauty, wit, and precision; these stories will grab you by the heart. This is a boss collection.
NoViolet Bulawayo, author of We Need New Names
I am utterly taken with these gorgeous, tender, heartbreaking stories. Arthurs is a witty, perceptive, and generous writer, and this is a book that will last
Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties