The roads are down by Vanessa Spence

IMG_1769Set in Gordon Town, Jamaica. Reviewed on 2018/06: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bkg-SzOFzsC/

If you don’t know this already, I’m here to tell you that #jamaicanliterature rocks big time! Since I began the #bookmap on January 2017, #jamaica has always been on my top 25 countries. As you know, I’m featuring books set in Jamaica regardless of the writer’s nationality. However you can’t discard the fact that most of them are indeed #jamaicans and it’s all connected anyway which is literally my point by doing this. So how about #jamaicanfemale writers? Let me show you two outstanding examples. First let’s talk about #vanessaspence and her #debutnovel The Roads are Down published in the early 90s. At the core of it, this book is an ode to slow and deep #observation without really having the luxury to stop and observe or reflect on anything at all. In our #caribbean region plagued with old and new colonialism, category 5 #hurricanes and endless political failures, our geography and most importantly our mountains seem to be there to both protect us and also to bear witness to our collective and individual catastrophes. #spence knows this bit of Caribbean wisdom and that’s why she places the main character and action in the middle of the #bluemountains watching over Kingston. #theroadsaredown seems to be taking place both in the inside and outside. Despite its geographic isolation, our main character #katherine as much as the Blue Mountains is both an #observerand a main actor. That’s very important to remember here. Entrenched in her Caribbean and Jamaican wisdom, Spence is aiming at showing us how much our silences and distances either self imposed or forced play a significant part in the story regardless. Every. Single. Time. #highlyrecommended #kingston#gordontown #heinemann#caribbeanwritersseries

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