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Book Title: Myal|
The author of the book: Erna Brodber
Edition: Waveland Press, Inc.
Date of issue: August 12th 2014
Loaded: 1502 times
Reader ratings: 5.7
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 22.77 MB
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Jamaican-born novelist and sociologist Erna Brodber describes Myal as “an exploration of the links between the way of life forged by the people of two points of the black diaspora—the Afro-Americans and the Afro-Jamaicans.” Operating on many literary levels—thematically, linguistically, stylistically—it is the story of women’s cultural and spiritual struggle in colonial Jamaica. The novel opens at the beginning of the 20th century with a community gathering to heal the mysterious illness of a young woman, Ella, who has returned to Jamaica after an unsuccessful marriage abroad. The Afro-Jamaican religion myal, which asserts that good has the power to conquer all, is invoked to heal Ella, who has been left “zombified” and devoid of any black soul. Ella, who is light skinned enough to pass for white, has suffered a breakdown after her white American husband produced a black-face minstrel show based on the stories of her village and childhood. This cultural appropriation is one of a series Ella encountered in her life, and parallels the ongoing theft of the labor and culture of colonized peoples for imperial gain and pleasure. The novel’s rich, vivid language and vital characters earned it the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Canada and the Caribbean.
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Read information about the authorErna Brodber (born 20 April 1940) is a Jamaican writer, sociologist and social activist.
Born in Woodside, Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica, she gained a B.A. from the University College of the West Indies, followed by an M.Sc and Ph.D. She subsequently worked as a civil servant, teacher, sociology lecturer, and at the Institute for Social and Economic Research in Mona, Jamaica.
She is the author of four novels: Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home (1980), Myal (1988), Louisiana (1994) and The Rainmaker's Mistake (2007). She won the Caribbean and Canadian regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1989 for Myal. In 1999 she received the Jamaican Musgrave Gold Award for Literature and Orature. Brodber currently works as a freelance writer, researcher and lecturer in Jamaica. She is currently Writer in Residence at the University of the West Indies.
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