In her first-ever collection of essays, poet and novelist Lorna Goodison interweaves the personal and political to explore themes that have occupied her working life: her love of poetry and the arts, colonialism and its legacy, racism and social justice, authenticity, and the enduring power of friendship.
Taking her title from one of Kingston’s oldest markets, a historic meeting place that was almost destroyed by fire, she introduces us to a vivid cast of characters and remembers moments of epiphany—in a cinema in Jamaica, at New York’s Bottom Line club, and as she searched for a black hairdresser in Paris and drank tea in London’s Marylebone High Street.
Enlightening and entertaining, these essays explore not only daily challenges but also the compassion that enables us to rise above them. Goodison’s poet’s eye, profound vision and glorious combination of metaphysical and post-colonial sensibilities confirm her as a major figure in world literature.
About the author
Lorna Goodison was born in Jamaica in 1947. She has published several collections of poetry, including Tamarind Season (1980), I am Becoming My Mother (1986), Heartease (1989), To Us All Flowers Are Roses and Selected Poems. She has been writer in residence at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, and at Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA. She currently divides her time between Michigan and Jamaica. Her volume of short stories, Baby Mother and the King of Swords, was published in 1990.