book cover of If I Survive You
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If I Survive You

A collection of stories by

A Best Book of 2023 in AnOther Magazine, Huffington Post UK and i Newspaper

‘Kaleidoscopic, urgent, hilarious, revelatory’ Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

‘Sumptuous and astute … An absolute delight to read’ Diana Evans, author of Ordinary People

'A compelling hurricane of a book' Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House


A major debut, blazing with style and heart, that follows a Jamaican family in Miami navigating recession, racism and Hurricane Andrew.

You want a home.
You want to win back your girlfriend’s admiration.
You want to prove that your father bet on the wrong son.

1979. Topper and Sanya flee to Miami as political violence consumes their native Kingston. But they soon learn that the welcome in America will be far from warm.

Trelawny, their youngest son, comes of age in a society which regards him with suspicion and confusion, greeting him with the puzzled question ‘What are you?’

Their eldest son Delano’s longing for a better future for his own children is equalled only by his recklessness in trying to secure it.

As both brothers navigate the obstacles littered in their path – an unreliable father, racism, a financial crisis and Hurricane Andrew – they find themselves pitted against one another. Will their rivalry be the thing that finally tears their family apart?

The thrilling linked stories in Jonathan Escoffery’s If I Survive You pulse with inimitable style, heart and barbed humour while unravelling what it means to carve out an existence between cultures, homes and pay checks. They announce Escoffery as a once in a generation talent and chronicler of life at its most gruesome and hopeful.

'Escoffery's is a strong, much needed new voice in our literature’ Percival Everett, Booker shortlisted author of The Trees

'A welcome reminder of what fiction can do’ Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind

'An elegant meditation on belonging from a powerful new writer’ Nikesh Shukla, author of Brown Baby

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"If I Survive You is a collection of brilliant wit, real heart, and electric humor. Jonathan Escoffery masterfully mines from his life and emerges, in this debut, as a talent not to be ignored." - Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

"It's truly a feat that a book of short stories tackling such big stuff--family, love, violence, race--could be so damn funny. Jonathan Escoffery is a writer only just getting started, and his first book is a welcome reminder of what fiction can do." - Rumaan Alam

"Jonathan Escoffery's brilliant first book has some new things to tell us about racial identities, loneliness, and the search for love. It is so sharp-eyed and detailed that you feel that you are living through its scenes. The book is father-haunted and often very funny, and its prose is electric with intelligence. Somehow If I Survive You manages to be scary, humorous, and heartbreaking all at once. I loved this book." - Charles Baxter

"Each story in If I Survive You passes a baton to the next, though it's not for speed but for deepening. As Jonathan Escoffery's debut progresses, the characters layer, stories overlap, voices gather and the result is a moving and layered portrait of a family, at once wise and unflinching." - Aimee Bender

"An electrifying, enthralling debut about identity and belonging. Jonathan Escoffery illuminates both beauty and trauma and the ways in which so many of us Jamaicans are still looking for home within ourselves. Told with humor and clear-eyed grace, this spectacular collection introduces us to an amazing new voice." - Nicole Dennis-Benn

"These are superb stories about identity, family and place. There is a beautiful economy in the telling that never sacrifices the depth, complexity and richness of the worlds these characters inhabit. Jonathan Escoffery's is a strong, much needed new voice in our literature." - Percival Everett

"Jonathan Escoffery writes the Miami I know--where shimmering landscapes and glitzy neon give way to immigrant hustle, financial scams, and societal and family tensions gathering force quietly like the eye of a hurricane. Escoffery is a keen and witty observer with range and style. An exciting new voice." - Gabriela Garcia

"Kaleidoscopic, urgent, hilarious, revelatory and like nothing you've read before." - Marlon James

"If I Survive You is simply one of the best debut story collections I've ever read. Unmistakably original, improbably accomplished, If I Survive You earns Jonathan Escoffery the attention deserved of an important new author." - Mat Johnson

"If I Survive You is a collection of connected short stories that reads like a novel, that reads like real life, that reads like fiction written at the highest level." - Ann Patchett

"A magnificent debut collection. It's astonishing what Jonathan Escoffery accomplishes in If I Survive You. These stories are told with such grace, humor, insight, and precision that readers will want to return again and again. Escoffery is a writer to watch, and we lovers of literature are fortunate to have him." - Maurice Carlos Ruffin

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