Banks, Russell Book of Jamaica

ISBN 13: 9780060977078

Book of Jamaica

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9780060977078: Book of Jamaica

Banks explores the complexities of political life in the Caribbean.

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About the Author:

Russell Banks is one of America's most prestigious fiction writers, a past president of the International Parliament of Writers, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Common Wealth Award for Literature. He lives in upstate New York and Miami, Florida.

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Banks, Russell
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Book Description Harper Perennial, 1996. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Chapter One This part of my story begins one evening early in January 1976 in Anchovy, Jamaica, a country village clinging to the hills of St. James Parish about twelve miles south and west of Montego Bay. At that time I was residing in Jamaica for a few months, ostensibly for the purpose of investigating the living conditions and habits of the Maroons, a remnant people who were the direct descendants of slaves who had escaped from their Spanish and then British masters in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and who afterwards from their inaccessible mountain enclaves had successfully conducted a hundred year guerrilla war against the British. When I was not actively researching the daily lives of these people, I had sufficient leisure and interest to involve myself in the daily lives of the more typical Jamaicans who lived all around me, drinking and smoking ganja with them, playing dominoes, arguing politics, and so on. As a result I formed several close friendships with a number of my neighbors. My closest friendship, however, was with a man named Terron Musgrave who was neither a typical Jamaican nor one of my neighbors. He was a man in his mid-thirties, my own age, and a Maroon, and though during these months he spent fully half his time in Anchovy at my house, he lived in the Maroon village of Nyamkopong, forty miles and three hours' drive away. Terron was a short man, even diminutive, but extremely muscular, and though he gave the impression of having been packed into his body under great pressure and seemed always about to explode into furious, chaotic activity, when he moved he moved slowly and gracefully with thoughtful, deliberate precision. His skin was darkbrown, almost mocha-colored, and his face had been carved by genes and character into the face of a Nigerian king. Because he was a religious man and a member of the Rastafarian sect, he was bearded and wore his hair in long, matted, leonine locks called dreadlocks, and in profile he did indeed resemble a dark male lion, which was as he desired it. Terron's greatest gift, however, his most remarkable beauty, was his voice and the language it carried. He owned a deep, resonating baritone that came directly from his chest, and his exotic blend of Jamaican English, country patois, and Rastafarian neologism, a poem in any man's mouth, in his became a song, a chanting, rolling, mahogany and birdflight song. Against his, my own voice came to sound like the random banging of oilcans, tinny, empty, erratic, and my language as flat and uninteresting as a sheet metal duct. The comparison inevitably silenced me and my silence usually brought Terron forward, as he would say, into speech. He told me of his childhood in Port Antonio where the banana boats of United Fruit were loaded, his youth in the ghettos of Kingston where whole large families lived in refrigerator cartons and abandoned Japanese cars, his years in the back streets of Montego Bay where he had hustled as a middleman between the ganja growers in the hills and the dealers in the Bay, and, for the last seven years, his life among his ascendants, the Maroons of Nyamkopong, where he himself had become a ganja grower. He told me also of his religion and the experience of his conversion, when he had come to know I, and the marvelous changes it had wrought in his interior and exterior lives, how it had merged them, made them oneholy vessel, like the conversion experience of an early Christian gnostic. His political views, too, he described to me, and they were literally that, views, for he, like all true Rastafarians, was a visionary and believed in prophecy, specifically those of Marcus Garvey and the apocalyptic books of the Christian Bible. We both mistrusted the current Jamaican government, a corrupt, incompetent bunch of ambitious men and women, most of them educated in England, where they had learned to long for the power and wealt. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0060977078

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In The Book of Jamaica Russell Banks explores the complexities of political life in the Caribbean and its ever-present racial conflicts. His narrator, a thirty-five-year-old college professor from New Hampshire, goes to Jamaica to write a novel and soon becomes embroiled in the struggles between whites and blacks. He is especially interested in an ancient tribe called the Maroons, descendants of the Ashanti, who had been enslaved by the Spanish and then fought the British in a hundred-year war. Despite this history of oppression, the Maroons have managed to maintain a relatively autonomous existence in Jamaica. Partly out of guilt and an intellectual sense of social responsibility, Bank s narrator gets involved in reuniting two clans who have been feuding for generations. Unfortunately, his attempt ends in disaster, and the narrator must deal with his feelings of alienation, isolation, and failure. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060977078

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In The Book of Jamaica Russell Banks explores the complexities of political life in the Caribbean and its ever-present racial conflicts. His narrator, a thirty-five-year-old college professor from New Hampshire, goes to Jamaica to write a novel and soon becomes embroiled in the struggles between whites and blacks. He is especially interested in an ancient tribe called the Maroons, descendants of the Ashanti, who had been enslaved by the Spanish and then fought the British in a hundred-year war. Despite this history of oppression, the Maroons have managed to maintain a relatively autonomous existence in Jamaica. Partly out of guilt and an intellectual sense of social responsibility, Bank s narrator gets involved in reuniting two clans who have been feuding for generations. Unfortunately, his attempt ends in disaster, and the narrator must deal with his feelings of alienation, isolation, and failure. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060977078

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Book of Jamaica, Russell Banks, In "The Book of Jamaica" Russell Banks explores the complexities of political life in the Caribbean and its ever-present racial conflicts. His narrator, a thirty-five-year-old college professor from New Hampshire, goes to Jamaica to write a novel and soon becomes embroiled in the struggles between whites and blacks. He is especially interested in an ancient tribe called the Maroons, descendants of the Ashanti, who had been enslaved by the Spanish and then fought the British in a hundred-year war. Despite this history of oppression, the Maroons have managed to maintain a relatively autonomous existence in Jamaica. Partly out of guilt and an intellectual sense of social responsibility, Bank's narrator gets involved in reuniting two clans who have been feuding for generations. Unfortunately, his attempt ends in disaster, and the narrator must deal with his feelings of alienation, isolation, and failure. Bookseller Inventory # B9780060977078

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