I know I say this every year but 2023 will be amazing year for persons who Read Caribbean. Some amazing debut Caribbean Authors will be hitting the shelves in 2023 and I am here to let you know about all of them!
2023 promises to be a big year for Read Caribbean releases, I for one am excited! We will be reading novels, books from authors we haven’t read in a while. I am really excited to hear more from debut Caribbean authors as they add their perspective and writing to an already establish diverse cannon.
While I love a great debut novel, I am super excited for the works of our favorite authors. Yes! 2023 is gonna be an amazing year for Caribbean Literature and you won’t want to miss out! Here are a few books to look forward to.
River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer
River Sing Me Home is a sprawling debut novel set during the 1834s that takes us to Barbados, British Guiana (now Guyana) and Trinidad and Tobago. The book opens with Rachel, an enslaved mother, running away from Providence plantation in Barbados. The Emancipation Act of 1834 was announced and declares they are no longer enslaved, but the slave master has other plans for them. Rachel decides she will never be free, unless she runs. Rachel wants to find her five children who were taken from her in the most gruesome way.
Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein
Atmospheric, immersive, un-put-down-able, truly impressive storytelling from a Caribbean voice you will want to hear from again…and again…. Hungry Ghosts opens with four boys doing a blood pact that will make them brothers for the rest of their lives. Do they know what this pact means? How will it impact their individual lives? That is exactly what we find out in this boo
When Trying to Return Home by Jennifer Maritza McCauley
Forming a web of desires and consequences that span generations, McCauley’s Black American and Afro-Puerto Rican characters remind us that these voices have always been here, occupying the very center of American life–even if we haven’t always been willing to listen.
Windward Family: An atlas of love, loss and belonging by Alexis Keir
Born to Vincentian parents of the Windrush generation, and primarily raised in Luton, Alexis never really knew where he belonged as he grew up. Him and his siblings were ‘barrel children’ – at the age of seven Alexis was taken back to Saint Vincent to stay with his father’s relatives while his parents stayed abroad in search for more money and better life. Ultimately, Alexis ended up staying in Saint Vincent for only a year but the emotional burden of this experience of migration took a huge toll on him.
BlackGirl on Mars by Lesley-Ann Brown
Blackgirl on Mars is a radical memoir that chronicles author, educator and activist Lesley-Ann Brown’s two years’ worth of travel searching for “home”.
As she travels across the US during the Black Lives Matter protests and Covid-19 pandemic and then to Trinidad and Tobago to attend the funeral of her grandmother, Brown tells her own life-story, as well as writing about race, gender, sexuality, and education, and ideas of home, family and healing.
The Human Origins of Beatrice Porter and Other Essential Ghosts by Soraya Palmer
Folktales and spirits animate this lively coming-of-age tale of two Jamaican-Trinidadian sisters in Brooklyn grappling with their mother’s illness, their father’s infidelity, and the truth of their family’s past. Telling of the love between sisters who don’t always see eye to eye, this extraordinary debut novel is a celebration of the power of stories, asking, what happens to us when our stories are erased? Do we disappear? Or do we come back haunting?
The Gospel According to the New World by Maryse Condé
One Easter Sunday, Madame Ballandra puts her hands together and exclaims: “A miracle!”
Baby Pascal is strikingly beautiful, brown in complexion, with gray-green eyes like the sea. But where does he come from? Is he really the child of God? So goes the rumour, and many signs throughout his life will cause this theory to gain ground.
Suite as Sugar: and Other Stories by Camille Hernández-Ramdwar
Suite as Sugar is a testimony to the unseen forces, always vigilant, ever ready, imbuing the characters in this collection with both resilience and trauma. From Winnipeg winterscapes to Toronto’s condo culture, from Havana’s haunted streets to Trinidad’s calamitous environs, the stories in Suite as Sugar are permeated with the violence of colonial histories, personal and intimate, reflecting legacies of abandonment and loss. The veil between the living and the dead is obscured, chaos becomes panacea, and characters
take drastic measures into their own hands.
The Making of Yolanda la Bruja by Lorraine Avila
The Making of Yolanda La Bruja is the book this country, struggling with the plague of gun violence, so desperately needs, but which few could write. Here Lorraine Avila brings a story born from the intersection of race, justice, education, and spirituality that will capture readers everywhere.
The God of Good Looks by Breanne Mc Ivor
A joyously satisfying will-they-won’t-they love story about a young woman finding her feet and forging her own destiny, set against the backdrop of the Trinidadian beauty industry. Sparkling, big-hearted and life-affirming, The God of Good Looks is a story about prejudice and pride, the masks we wear, and what we can become if we dare to take them off.
When the Vibe Is Right by Sarah Dass
From the author of Where the Rhythm Takes You comes a delightful enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance set during Trinidad’s Carnival celebration. Set in lush, gorgeous Trinidad, this is a novel about finding love in the most unexpected places.
How to Say Babylon: A Memoir by Safiya Sinclair
How to Say Babylon is Sinclair’s reckoning with the culture that initially nourished but ultimately sought to silence her; it is her reckoning with patriarchy and tradition, and the legacy of colonialism in Jamaica. Rich in lyricism and language only a poet could evoke, How to Say Babylon is both a universal story of a woman finding her own power and a unique glimpse into a rarefied world we may know how to name, Rastafari, but one we know little about.
Queen of Exile by Vanessa Riley
The Queen of Exiles is Marie-Louise Christophe, wife and then widow of Henry I, who ruled over the newly liberated Kingdom of Hayti in the wake of the brutal Haitian Revolution. Queen of Exiles is the tale of a remarkable Black woman of history–a canny and bold survivor who chooses the fire and ideals of political struggle, and then is forced to rebuild her life on her own terms, forever a queen.
Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo
Spanning the three days prior to the wake, Family Lore traces the lives of each of the Marte women, weaving together past and present, Santo Domingo and New York City. Told with Elizabeth Acevedo’s inimitable and incandescent voice, this is an indelible portrait of sisters and cousins, aunts and nieces—one family’s journey through their history, helping them better navigate all that is to come.
River Muuma by Zalika Benta-Reid
Fast-paced, thrilling, packing with Jamaican folklore, I could not get enough. Growing up in Jamaica where my mother and Granny would tell stories about Riva Muuma, Duppies and Rolling Calf, it was chilling reading about them in the contemporary space. I find that in today’s world we don’t read too much about stories we grew up hearing about so it was truly magnificent reading a book like River Muuma. It is clear that Zalika Benta-Reid did her research and is passionate about keeping folklore alive, relevant and giving a voice to stories we hardly hear today.
OTHER UPCOMING READ CARIBBEAN TITLES
The House of Plain Truth by Donna Hemans – Fall 2023