Authors: Kerry Young
Tags: #General Fiction, #(¯`'•.¸//(*_*)\\¸.•'´¯)
I sit there with the tears slowly rolling down my face. And then Clifton get up and walk over and as he reach me I just stand up and lean myself into his arms and sob. I cry so much I wet up the whole shoulder and collar of his shirt. And in my grief I realise that Clifton right. Not just about Barrington but also about Auntie and Pao. Because it come to me that I had forgiven them all. So yes, if the patience and generosity and kindness was in me to do that, then it was time I forgive myself as well.
The day we go to Esther’s graduation was joyous, with me and Pao sitting side by side in the beautiful university gardens at Mona on a gorgeous July day clapping and cheering and feeling so proud of our daughter,
daughter standing up there on the platform holding her certificate rolled up with the little ribbon ’round it. Proving that no matter who your mother is, with her lack of learning, and all the mistakes she make in her life, she, Esther could do it. Be someone respectable in this world. Get an education, and pass their examinations. In economics as well because she say you cannot change anything in Jamaica without understanding how money works.
Afterwards when she come up to us dressed so pretty in her gown and board hat she go straight up to Pao and kiss him on the cheek. And then she do the same thing to me. And as I glance over her shoulder I see Clifton and Marcia walking over to us, with Hyacinth and Father Michael. All of them looking like they wouldn’t have missed this day for the world.
And it was family like we never knew before.
It takes many people for one person to end up with their name on the cover of a book. In this instance it took my editor, Helen Garnons-Williams, the most insightful, diligent, considerate and all-round wonderful human being who never falters in her belief in me and my ability to do better.
Thanks also to Emily Sweet, Sarah-Jane Forder, Erica Jarnes, Elizabeth Woabank, Oliver Holden-Rea, Trâm-Anh Doan and all the good folk at Bloomsbury.
My agent, Susan Yearwood, for her support and encouragement and for being there through thick and thin and all the ups and downs.
And for friendship as enduring as the path itself, Amanda Harrington.
Kerry Young was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to a Chinese father and a mother of mixed Chinese-African heritage. She came to England in 1965 and lives in Leicestershire.
Also available by Kerry Young
Kingston, 1938. Fourteen-year-old Yang Pao steps off the ship from China with his mother and brother. They are to live with Zhang, the ‘godfather’ of Chinatown, and Pao is destined to take over his protection business and become a powerful man. He sets his sights on marrying well, but when Gloria Campbell, a black prostitute, comes to him for help he is drawn to her beauty and strength. They begin a relationship that continues even after Pao marries Fay Wong, the headstrong daughter of a Chinese merchant.
But as political violence escalates in the 1960s the lines between Pao’s socialist ideals and private ambitions become blurred. Jamaica is transforming, the tides of change are rising, and the one-time boss of Chinatown finds himself cast adrift . . .
‘With grace, authenticity and humour, Young lets Jamaica’s political history shine through the life story of her charming yet fallible hero. Brilliant’
] confirms Young as a gifted new writer. Her novel is a blindingly good read . . . both for its mesmeric story-telling and the quality of its prose’
‘A pacy but absorbing saga of domestic struggle and gangland manoeuvring set against the violent backdrop of postwar Jamaican politics . . . [A] punchy tale of pungent characters and impassioned entanglements’
Independent on Sunday
‘Young’s heartfelt, sparky and affecting debut novel is a chronicle of multicultural Jamaica . . . The complexity of Jamaican society in
is fascinating and bewildering’
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First published in Great Britain 2013
This electronic edition published in 2013 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Copyright © 2013 by Kerry Young
With the assistance of a grant from The Society of Authors and the Authors’ Foundation.
The moral right of the author has been asserted
All rights reserved
You may not copy, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this publication (or any part of it) in any form, or by any means (including without limitation electronic, digital, optical, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages
Quotations on pages 218, 235, 252, 260 and 294 taken from
Che Guevara Speaks
Copyright © 1967, 2000 by Pathfinder Press. Reprinted by permission.
Quotations on pages 1, 67, 121, 201, 219, 305 and 359 taken from
by José Martí, translated by Manuel A. Tellechea.
Copyright © 1997 by Arte Público Press. Reprinted by permission.
Every reasonable effort has been made to trace copyright holders of material reproduced in this book, but if any have been inadvertently overlooked the publishers would be glad to hear from them
Bloomsbury Circus is an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP
Bloomsbury Publishing, London, New Delhi, New York and Sydney
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 978 1 4088 2289 0
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