Red Jacket

By (author): Pamela Mordecai

2015 Rogers Writers? Trust Fiction Prize 2015 ? Short-listed

As she comes into adulthood, Grace confronts the mystery of her own identity and the story of her birth mother in this sprawling, large-hearted novel.

Growing up on the Caribbean island of St. Chris, Grace Carpenter never feels like she really belongs. Although her large, extended family is black, she is a redibo. Her skin is copper-coloured, her hair is red, and her eyes are grey. A neighbour taunts her, calling her ?a little red jacket,? but the reason for the insult is never explained. Only much later does Grace learn the story of her birth mother and decipher the mystery surrounding her true identity.

?A compelling tale of faith and family, ranging from the dusty landscapes of West Africa to the rich flavours of the Caribbean.? ? WILL FERGUSON, Giller Prize?winning author of 419

AUTHOR

Pamela Mordecai

Pamela Mordecai writes poetry, fiction and plays. Her collections of poetry are Journey Poem, de Man: a performance poem, Certifiable, The True Blue of Islands, Subversive Sonnets, de book of Mary: a performance poem, Up Tropic, and A Fierce Green Place: new and selected poems. Her first collection of short fiction, Pink Icing and Other Stories, appeared to enthusiastic reviews in 2006, and her first novel, Red Jacket, was published in 2015 and shortlisted for the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Award. Her writing for children is widely collected and well known internationally. El Numero Uno, a play for young people, had its world premiere at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People in Toronto in 2010 and its Caribbean premiere at the Edna Manley School for the Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2016. She lives in Toronto.


Reviews

A compelling tale of faith and family, ranging from the dusty landscapes of West Africa to the rich flavours of the Caribbean. Pamela Mordecai has made the transition from poetry to prose with an enviable ease.
– Will Ferguson, Giller Prize?winning author of 419

A rich and compelling tale about the agony of being made to feel different and the elusiveness of belonging.
– Rachel Manley, Governor General’s Award?winning author of the Drumblair trilogy

If there is a smelting room of the English language, if there is an iron table where syntax and breath are shone, here is where Pam Mordecai works her glittering materials.
– Dionne Brand, Griffin Poetry Award?winning author of Ossuaries

Pamela Mordecai is a fearsomely ingenious writer, whose ear for language is equalled by her huge heart?s humanity.
– George Elliott Clarke, Governor General’s Award?winning author of Execution Poems

Canadian poet Pamela Mordecai?s first novel moves from the warmth of the Caribbean to the chill of Canada and then to the deserts of West Africa. Fans of Caribbean literature and readers who enjoy sagas of misfortune may find this book captivating.
– Library Journal

This exceptional story of one woman’s education, career, and motherhood … Grace’s story of a rise from humble beginnings may feel familiar, but Mordecai never allows it to become cliched.
– Publishers Weekly

?Red Jacket is an accomplished, intelligent novel?to be savoured for its multiple layers of meaning and?especially?its richness of language.
– Quill & Quire

Alternately heart-wrenching, clever and very real, this novel tackles issues that are relevant on both a personal and global level.?
– The Guelph Mercury

Red Jacket?is successful in that it holds the reader’s attention from start to finish and invites us to reflect on many issues that assail us. It is a significant fictional accomplishment.
– Maple Tree Literary Supplement

For those attuned to a Caribbean literary tradition and women?s writing in particular, the echoes of Paule Marshall?s Daughters, Merle Hodge?s Crick Crack, Monkey, and even Jean Rhys?s Wild Sargasso Sea will most certainly be heard in Mordecai?s latest work.
– Ottawareviewofbooks.com

For those attuned to a Caribbean literary tradition and to women?s writing in particular, the echoes of Paule Marshall?s Daughters, Merle Hodge?s Crick Crack and even Jean Rhys?s Wide Sargasso Sea will most certainly be heard in Mordecai?s book.
– Herizons

Awards

There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
2015 Rogers Writers? Trust Fiction Prize 2015 ? Short-listed

As she comes into adulthood, Grace confronts the mystery of her own identity and the story of her birth mother in this sprawling, large-hearted novel.

Growing up on the Caribbean island of St. Chris, Grace Carpenter never feels like she really belongs. Although her large, extended family is black, she is a redibo. Her skin is copper-coloured, her hair is red, and her eyes are grey. A neighbour taunts her, calling her ?a little red jacket,? but the reason for the insult is never explained. Only much later does Grace learn the story of her birth mother and decipher the mystery surrounding her true identity.

?A compelling tale of faith and family, ranging from the dusty landscapes of West Africa to the rich flavours of the Caribbean.? ? WILL FERGUSON, Giller Prize?winning author of 419

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

464 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * 1.0458in
520gr

Published:

February 28, 2015

City of Publication:

Toronto

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

Dundurn Press

ISBN:

9781459729407

Book Subjects:

FICTION / Literary

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

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