In 'Jacob Bubbles', a short novella, Campbell connects the contemporary Jamaica of political gang warfare to the past of slavery through the characters of Jacob, a runaway slave and his descendant, Jacob Bubbles, the fearsome leader of the Suckdust Posse. When Jacob Bubbles meets a violent death, a memory path opens in his head which carries him back to his slave ancestor. The contrast between the two stories raises uncomfortable questions about what progress there has been for the most oppressed sections of Jamaican society. Yet if there is in these stories an acute perception of the ways in which poverty, racism and sexism can maim the spirit, there is an overarching vision of the redemptive power of hope and love and the people's capacity to rise out of enslavements old and new.
In bringing us, amongst others, Singerman, the Calypsonian, Quincey, the business man who turns into a bird, Jocelyn who cannot tell a lie and the inseparable Mr Fargo and Mr Lawson, Hazel Campbell shows herself to be one of the Caribbean's finest writers of short fiction.
Hazel Campbell is Jamaican. Before publishing Singerman with Peepal Tree, she published The Rag Doll and Woman's Tongue. She works as a media consultant.