book cover of The True History of Paradise
 

The True History of Paradise

(1999)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards Best Novel (nominee)
It is Easter 1981, and Jamaica is in a state of emergency: There is violence in the streets and police checkpoints are everywhere. Island dwellers for centuries, the Landing family has gathered to bury one of its own. Staring at the closed coffin of Lana Ramcharan, her mother and sister confront the cruelest kind of loss. Jean, who was Lana's sister and closest confidante, has always been attuned to the spirit world, and now, in the face of this latest catastrophe, the voices that have always guided her urge flight from this troubled place.

As Jean makes her way across the island toward the plane waiting to take her to America and safety, she is overcome by memories, not only of Lana but also of her forebears--African, Creole, Scottish, Indian, and Chinese. Ancestral voices tell of the hardships and wonders, of the beauty and atrocity, that are indelible parts of the Jamaican experience.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Fascinating . . . Cezair-Thompson writes with such talent, grace, and confidence." - Madison Smartt Bell


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