A high wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes

IMG_6281Set in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. Reread on 2019/01: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsb9r6oHtVY/

Following up from yesterday’s mini review, I want to talk a bit about the elusive concept of #caribbeanlit . I call it elusive because when you talk about #caribbeanliterature you also have to talk about #caribbean identity and that’s too complicated to try to discern in an instagram post. But I’ll tell you this. Among all the books I have read either set in the area or from a Caribbean writer, I think #ahighwindinjamaica by #richardhughes is one of the most quintessential ones. The unrelenting suffering and the glorious debauchery of the region take center stage in this book even when adrift at sea. Despite all the subsequent colonial powers, homegrown dictatorships and natural disasters, the Caribbean people mingle, live, enjoy and transcend it all even when they move and live somewhere else. There is a mystical communion with all aspects of life: happiness, destruction, creation and anger. In my very humble opinion, the sheer brilliance of this book resides in shedding some light on the core of being Caribbean: resilience and a healthy touch of irreverence. Feelings and emotions which the #Thorton kids can’t escape from and I’m guessing neither did Hughes after growing up in #jamaica . #highlyrecommended#ahighwindinjamaica #richardhughes#nyrb #cuba #caribbeansea #pirates#britishcolony #london #montegobay#saintanne #hurricane

Reviewed on 2017/06: https://www.instagram.com/p/BV6HAcyBNrm/

This book is quite the #masterpiece at successfully combining the nature of #children with the #nature of the Caribbean history, weather and fauna. The Thornton kids are free and careless and it is that same freedom and carelessness that allows them to be so receptive and synchronized with #animals and nature. I was very impressed with his description of this complete embrace between kids that are arguably as cruel, evil and violent as the surrounding #caribbean colonial history and storm tragedies. With the passing of pages #Hughes then begins dropping hints at the inevitably #lossofinnocence in the kids and the consequences of them becoming aware of that. I think there’s a lot to be said about Hughes’ use of geographical, meteorological and animalistic components to depict kids’ inherent raw and brutal power. It sounds like a heavy story. But if anything, at the end you just don’t want the #storm to end? #highlyrecommended#ahighwindinjamaica #richardhughes#nyrb #jamaica #cuba #caribbeansea#pirates #britishcolony #london#montegobay #saintanne

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