A Tall History of Sugar
‘Brimming with magic, passion and history’ New York Times
‘Captivating from the very first page’ Jennifer Egan
Shortlisted for the Fiction category in the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature
Discovered amidst a tangle of sea grape trees, Moshe Fisher’s provenance is a thing of myth and mystery; his unusual appearance, with blueish, translucent skin and duo-toned hair, only serves to compound his mystique. Equally feared and ridiculed by peers as he grows up, he finds a surprising kindred soul in the striking and bold Arrienne Christie, but their complex relationship is fraught with obstacles that tear them apart as powerfully as they are drawn together.
Beginning in the late 1950s, four years before Jamaica’s independence from colonial rule, A Tall History of Sugar’s epic love story sweeps between a rural Jamaica, scarred by the legacies of colonialism, and an England increasingly riven by race riots and class division.
A Tall History of Sugar transports you to warm, colourful Jamaica, both in content and in style. It's an antidote to depression, a book to escape with . . . This is a subtle book about racism in a post-colonial world, but it is also a beautiful, piercingly imaginative tale about transcendent love . . . The lyricism makes the story soar . . . each page has something to dwell upon, and every line is a pleasure * * Bookmunch * * A rich tale of love in trying times. Definitely a book you'll want to savour * * i-D * * The strength of Curdella Forbes' prose is her ability to deftly represent characters throughout varying stages of their lives . . . Forbes perfectly captures the essence of her characters throughout the passing time * * The Skinny * * Eclectic, feverish . . . Who [Moshe] is and who he becomes . . . is a riddle that unfolds in episodic bursts and linguistic flourishes * * Vanity Fair * * Densely descriptive, linguistically rich . . . its heart is the thread connecting two people who believe they are the halves of a single whole, and the intense, exquisite agonies of their obsessive love * * Herald * * Forbes' novel has the register of a fairytale or a myth; Arriene's narration flows in storytelling fashion and is as intimate as a tale shared around a campfire. Moshe himself becomes a cipher through which Forbes explores issues of racism, heritage, colonialism and identity. Forbes' skilful and instinctual use of local languages and dialects further taps into a rich Jamaican oral culture, in a story that dreams of being read aloud * * Irish Times * * The premise . . . is ingenious, and the novel is an epic modern fairytale that offers the pleasure of being steeped in Forbes's poetic, intoxicating sentences right from the opening line -- SARA COLLINS * * Guardian * * A novel of Jamaica, brimming with magic, passion and history . . . Forbes's writing combines the gale-force imagination of Margaret Atwood with the lyrical pointillism of Toni Morrison . . . This is a book for savouring * * New York Times * * A Tall History of Sugar is captivating from the very first page. Mythic in dimension yet movingly human in its details, alive with atmospheric richness, it heralds a fascinating new voice in English-language fiction -- JENNIFER EGAN
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