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Voices Under The Window

Authors: John Hearne

Published by Peepal Tree Press

ISBN: 9781845230319

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Mark Lattimer is chopped by a stranger in the heat of a riot. He has been attacked because he looks white and middle class, though he is a politically committed lawyer working for the poor and the nationalist movement in Jamaica. Now he is trapped, brought to bleed his life away in a small, airless room, cut off from doctors, ambulances, police. As he dies, he talks to his companions, his black lover and a fellow party worker, and drifts into memories of his past: his privileged childhood, his time in London and the RAF, his affairs and marriage and the moment when he gives his allegiance to the poor. But now what meaning can be given to his life and death?

First published fifty years ago, Voices Under the Window is reissued in association with the Calabash International Literary Festival Trust as a work that, in the words of Colin Channer, is a "Molotov cocktail that ignites important questions of race and power ... questions still burning in Kingston today."

In his insightful introduction, Kwame Dawes finds in Voices a novel that is wholly contemporary in its treatment of the personal and the political, that lives because it is a "deftly crafted work full of a sense of place and time, a work of psychological intensity and literary elegance."

John Hearne was the author of six highly praised novels. He was an incisive critic and provocative commentator in the Jamaican press. He died in 1994.
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