In the stories set in Jamaica life is hard, and the comforts of ‘away’ are idealized. But in the cold of the streets of the North, there is no passport to success for the people of yard. Only their resilience, optimism, humour and friendship (and the comforts of beer and ganja) help them make their way. And in the ‘diaspora dance’ of the different immigrant nations struggling to find their place in Europe or North America, new connections and new possibilities are being created.
But if these stories are coolly unsentimental, there is also room for humour and moments of joy, as when Marie, a middle-aged Jamaican reggae singer, finds the sweet flavour of cane juice lingering on her young Brazilian lover’s tongue.
Alecia McKenzie was born and grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. Her short stories, Satellite City, won the Commonwealth Writers regional prize for the best first work in 1993.