How to Love a Jamaican

Alexia Arthurs

27 June 2019
256 pages


In this thrilling debut collection Alexia Arthurs is all too easy to love' – Zadie Smith

A riveting exploration of a nation's heart and soul, How to Love a Jamaican sees Alexia Arthurs weave profound stories of Jamaican emigrants and the complex bonds tying them to their families back home.

From close-knit Jamaican communities to bustling New York streets, this evocative collection paints an intimate, nuanced portrait of immigrant experiences. It includes the story ‘Bad Behavior’, for which Arthurs won the Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize.

Filled with both tenderness and cruelty, ambition and regret, How to Love a Jamaican is a compelling examination of identity, culture, and the nuances of human disposition.

Alexia Arthurs' How to love a Jamaican is sharp and kind, bitter and sweet. It stays in the yard, delicately attentive to the ways of country folks, and it leaves home with them, too, as they head to 'foreign' - that place across the water where barrels get filled to be sent back home and people are never quite as happy as they expected to be. In these kaleidoscopic stories of Jamaica and its diaspora we hear many voices at once: some cultivated, some simple, some wickedly funny, some deeply melancholic. All of them convince and sing. All of them shine. In this thrilling debut collection Alexia Arthurs is all too easy to love.
Alexia Arthurs is a writer of beauty, wit, and precision; these stories will grab you by the heart. This is a boss collection.
I am utterly taken with these gorgeous, tender, heartbreaking stories. Arthurs is a witty, perceptive, and generous writer, and this is a book that will last