Book Review: Huracan

Loosely based on the author’s own family history, ‘Huracan’ tells the story of Leigh McCaulay, who after unhappily leaving Jamaica at FIFTEEN, now in her thirties, returns home in the wake of her mother’s death, to reconnect with her birthplace, her estranged father and the family secrets that he holds. As she builds an adult life, she discovers the stories of her abolitionist and missionary ancestors who came to Jamaica in the 1780s and 1880s, and she grapples with the burdens of this historical legacy. ‘Huracan’ is the story of an island nation, of the people who came, those who prospered and those who were forced to toil, their crimes, their acts of mercy and their search for place, love and redemption.

Part historical and part contemporary literary fiction, Huracan is filled with dramatic and insightful details of three centuries of life in Jamaica, Huracan will be released in July 2012, during Jamaica’s celebrations of 50 years of independence.

“Huracan is very much a reflection on the meaning of independence,” says McCaulay. “It is about what it means to be Jamaican, about how we navigate the inequalities and privilege we are born to, about the possibilities for social transformation.”


“A sharp-eyed, salty-sweet mix of family history and historical fiction from Jamaica: Diana McCaulay has captured the bright tropic warmth, the violence and beauty of her birthplace like a born storyteller…. All life is written in these haunting pages.” Ian Thomson, author of The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica

Diana McCaulay is a Jamaican writer and environmental activist. She is the CEO of the Jamaica Environment Trust and was awarded the 2005 Euan P McFarlane for Outstanding Environmental Leadership in the Caribbean and a 2009 Bronze Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica. Her first novel, ‘Dog-Heart’, won a gold medal in the 2008 Jamaican National Literature awards, and is currently shortlisted for the 2012 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. She is also the 2012 winner of the Regional Commonwealth Short Story Prize for her story, The Dolphin Catcher. 

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