A Place to Hide

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Peepal Tree, 2003 - Fiction - 310 pages
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A man lies in a newspaper-lined room dreaming an other life. Bob Marley's spirit flew into him at the moment of the singer's death. A woman detaches herself from her perfunctory husband and finds the erotic foreplay she longs for in journeying round the island. A man climbs Blue Mountain Peak to fly and hear the voice of God. Sonia paints her new friend Joan and hopes that this will be the beginning of a sexual adventure.
Dawes' characters are driven by their need for intimate contact with people and with God, and their need to construct personal myths powerful enough to live by. In a host of distinctive and persuasive voices they tell stories that reveal their inner lives and give an incisive portrayal of contemporary Jamaican society that is unsparing in confronting its elements of misogyny and nihilistic violence.
Indeed several stories question how this disorder can be told without either sensationalism or despair. For Dawes, meaning is found in the creative energies that lie just the other side of chaos. In particular, in the dub vershan episodes, which intercut the stories, there are intense and moving celebrations of moments of reggae invention in the studio and in performance.

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About the author (2003)

Kwame Dawes was born in Ghana, grew up in Jamaica, and studied and taught in New Brunswick, Canada. In the UK he has published five volumes of poetry, an anthology of reggae poetry, and a critical volume on reggae music and literature. His first book of poems, Progeny of Air, won the prestigious Forward Poetry Prize. He teaches at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

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