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Jamaica's "Night Women"
The Book of Night Women

The Book of Night Women

Slavery in the United States was bad, and bad enough. Slavery in Jamaica was something else again.

A tiny portion of whites. An overwhelming black majority in bondage. Escaped blacks preying on runaway blacks. An island engulfed in brutality.

In a powerful new novel, young Jamaican writer Marlon James takes us back to 1800, and into a circle of slave women plotting revolt. Into a secret sisterhood, and the life of one young slave seeking to be human in an inhuman world.

This hour, On Point: Jamaican novelist Marlon James and “The Book of Night Women.”

You can join the conversation. What do you know about life in Jamaica in the heart of its slavery years? About the role of women?

Guest:

Marlon James joins us in our studio. Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1970, he won critical praise for his first novel, “John Crow’s Devil.” He is now a professor of literature and creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.  His new novel is “The Book of Night Women.” The New York Times calls it “beautifully written and devastating.” The Chicago Tribune calls it “a bright dream of hell … painted with a brush dipped in blood.”

Read an excerpt from “The Book of Night Women.”

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