A Brief History of Seven Killings is a richly textured, complex, monumental piece of oral literature. In order to sell more books, an inside blurb by Riverhead compares it to work by a string of American authors, when in reality James’s book integrates a Caribbean pantheon populated by the works of Patrick Chamoiseau, Luis Rafael Sánchez, Guillermo Cabrera Infante and Jacques Stephen Alexis.
At first it’s no cakewalk. Jamaican patois has a pretty steep learning curve. After a while, though, you actually resent the chapters written in regular American English and begin missing and hoping for the ones written in Jamaican. (Your r’asscloth mind will not let go of it for a while after Read more →