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Poetry Caribbean & Latin American

de book of Joseph

by (author) Pamela Mordecai

Mawenzi House Publishers Ltd.
Initial publish date
Jun 2022
Caribbean & Latin American, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2022
    List Price

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de book of Joseph, the third book in Mordecai's epic trilogy about the lives of Jesus, his mother, Mary, and his foster father, the tekton of Nazareth, is a dazzling retelling in Jamaican Creole of the story of Joseph's life--his first marriage, his magical meeting with Mary, and his role in the birth and raising of Jesus. Mordecai creates a cast of spirited characters who surround a down-to-earth Jesus, Mary and Joseph as they contend with the intrigue around Herod's determination to assassinate the infant king of the Jews; the family's escape to Egypt; and the trials they face on their return. At once humorous and tragic, playful and sober, this luminous tale of how Joseph and his families prevail over life's vicissitudes will reward endless rereading.

About the author

Toronto writer Pamela Mordecai is also an editor, publisher, teacher, actor, and former TV presenter. A veteran anthologist, she co-edited the ground-breaking collections Jamaica Woman and Her True-True Name, the first collection of fiction by women from English-, French-, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries. In 1993 her book Ezra's Goldfish and Other Storypoems was the first winner of the Vic Reid Award, Jamaica's top literary prize for children's literature. She has published two earlier poetry collections, Journey Poem and de Man. Her poems have been selected for numerous anthologies, including The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse, The Heinemann Anthology of Caribbean Poetry, Eyeing the North Star, Sisters of Caliban, and Wheel and Come Again. Poems from Certifiable have appeared in Descant, Callaloo, The Literary Review, Obsidian, Macomere, and other literary journals in Canada, Jamaica, the US, Germany, and England.

Pamela Mordecai's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"What beautiful language, what beautiful sound. Not a verse without grace, not a verse without lilt and measure. Pamela Mordecai is a wonder, a teller and a burnisher, working the syntax, rhetorical devices and pragmatics of Jamaican language to its perfection." --Dionne Brand

"A truly wonderful imaginative creation! In de book of Joseph, part of a 'retelling in Jamaican language of the ancient story of Jesus,' Pamela Mordecai invites the reader into the mind of a Joseph who is active in his community. The carpenter reflects how his work with rockstone make him think of the life struggles of the Israelites, how we joust wid de Roman downpressor for freedom and food. Echoes of Jamaica, of Rastafari, of religion, of life. Pure delight!" --Merle Collins, author of Angel

"Mordecai pulls off another miracle of storytelling grace in this last panel of her New Testament triptych. Her Joseph is a man of joys and sorrows, a traveler through the rigorous geography of antique lands, an intimate weaver of the profane and the sacred. Like his creator, he is a wise wordsmith, blending Jamaican, Hebrew, and Greek in an earthy, playful, sacred, language, enacting 'how a meaning can travel a difference of words like de same tune sound different on flute and psaltery.' De Book of Joseph is a triumph." --Timothy J Reiss, Professor Emeritus, New York University

Other titles by Pamela Mordecai