Dog-Heart is a novel about the well-meaning attempt of a middle-class single mother to transform the life of a boy from the ghetto who she meets on the street. Set in present-day, urban Jamaica, Dog-Heart tells the story from two alternating points of view – those of the woman and the boy. They speak in the two languages of Jamaica that sometimes overlap, sometimes display their different origins and world views. Whilst engaging the reader in a tense and absorbing narrative, the novel deals seriously with issues of race and class, the complexity of relationships between people of very different backgrounds, and the difficulties faced by individuals seeking to bring about social change by their own actions.
"Diana McCaulay’s debut novel Dog-Heart is a harsh and poignant tableau ... exploring the relationship between poverty, education, and crime, and tying those back to a national history of violence, violation, and wilful neglect. McCaulay, an environmental activist, submitted her then-unpublished manuscript to the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s National Creative Writing Competition in 2008 and won the gold medal... The book is a passionate plea for child poverty alleviation couched in a laudable literary format."
Lisa Allen-Agostini, Caribbean Review of Books