The Hills Were Joyful Together
Published by Peepal Tree Press
Surjue, like other characters in the Kingston tenement yard, is struggling for survival when he is persuaded to take part in a robbery by the trickster figure of Flitters. He is arrested, tried and sentenced to the appalling world of a Jamaican colonial prison, full of people like himself whose only desire has been to put bread into the mouths of their families.
This is a starkly brutal novel full of Mais’s prophetic rage that for the poor and black little had changed since slavery. Imprisonment describes life both inside and outside jail. Whilst the novel displays an unflinching and deeply distressing realism, it is unquestionably also a work of art with a genuinely tragic vision.