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Nicole Dennis-Benn’s HERE COMES THE SUN

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  • Nicole Dennis-Benn’s HERE COMES THE SUN

    I haven't read this, so just making a suggestion.

    READ: Nicole Dennis-Benn’s HERE COMES THE SUN

    HERE COMES THE SUN by Nicole Dennis-Benn (Liveright). This novel may take place in Jamaica, but do not mistake it for a traditional beach read. It’s for readers who want to know what’s really behind the lacquered smile of the desk clerk at that lovely resort in Montego Bay, and what the pleasant woman at the market is really thinking when she sells tourists her jewellery and trinkets. The answers are often far less pretty than the scenery, but all evidence suggests that this debut deserves its ballyhoo. (July 19)
    Here is the publisher’s description: In this radiant, highly anticipated debut, a cast of unforgettable women battle for independence while a maelstrom of change threatens their Jamaican village.
    Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis- Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman—fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves—must confront long-hidden scars. From a much-heralded new writer, Here Comes the Sun offers a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world most outsiders see simply as paradise.

    Show me your papers.

  • #2
    There was an article about it in the Gleaner yesterday

    Dim View Of Tourism In 'Here Comes The Sun'

    Jamaica-born, New York-based Nicole Dennis-Benn's first book, Here Comes The Sun, revolves around a mother, Delores, and her daughters Thandi and Margot, born 15 years apart. They live together and the sometimes brutal trials and tribulations they face come out in the pages.
    Using the backdrop of a tourism industry which is elsewhere tagged Jamaica's engine of growth, Dennis-Benn - who has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize - makes no apologies in writing about the discrepancies between that sector and the community in which the three live.
    The book has a bright and sunny cover, "almost cater-made for beach blankets and sunglasses", says Michael Taeckens of Liveright Publishing Corporation in New York. However, he warns, "don't mistake this debut for a light and frothy read - while it depicts the sumptuous beauty of Jamaica, it also reveals a grittier side, chronicling the lives of those in the shadow of the booming Jamaican tourism industry."
    Dennis-Benn explains the contrast, noting "I wanted visibility for women in our culture, specifically working-class women. Most feel invisible, pushed to the margins of society and silenced. While rape, incest, and violence against women remain prevalent in Jamaica, the focus tends to be on other issues that exclude them."
    Inspired By A Feminist

    She wanted to delve into their lives because women's bodies are usually territory for invasion and decisions made without their consent, whether in a First- or Third-World country. "While writing this novel, I was inspired by renowned Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu, who depicts the exploitation and eroticisation of the black female body through a feminist lens," she stated.
    Explaining her use of the tourism industry, Dennis-Benn said "my family and I took regular trips to the north coast, because my mother had got a job as a customs officer and worked some weekends in Montego Bay. I was mesmerised by how different the island looked in tourist areas, a stark contrast to Kingston - the paved roads, the flower beds, the billboards with smiling faces and 'One Love' boldly written in black, green and gold,"
    This was in the early 1990s, "when we would drive by signs on beaches warning us not to trespass unless we were staying at the affiliated hotel. Each time there would be a new hotel, bigger and more lavish, where land or homes used to be".


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