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Gloria by Kerry Young

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Aged 14 beautiful Gloria is raped, so two years later when she catches the same man attacking her sister she beats him to death. As the two become more scared they may be caught they leave their rural home to lose themselves in Kingston and a very different life. In this life you meet Pao, a Chinese racketeer and the subject of Kerry Young’s first novel where the story of him and Gloria and life in 60s Jamaica is told from his point of view. Whether you’ve read Pao first or this is the first time you’re encountering their story this is a brilliant book and arguably made more so for being able to delve straight into it again from a different point of view as soon as you’ve finished reading it.

If you like Kerry Young you might also like to read books by Yiyun Li, Priya Basil and Yvvette Edwards.


Gloria by Kerry Young

Jamaica, 1938. Gloria Campbell is sixteen years old when a single violent act changes her life forever. She and her younger sister flee their hometown to forge a new life in Kingston. As all around them the city convulses with political change, Gloria's desperation and striking beauty lead her to Sybil and Beryl, and a house of ill-repute where she meets Yang Pao, a Kingston racketeer whose destiny becomes irresistibly bound with her own. Sybil kindles in Gloria a fire of social justice which will propel her to Cuba and a personal and political awakening that she must reconcile with the realities of her life, her love of Jamaica and a past that is never far behind her.


Kerry Young is a stand alone talent in the new emerging generation of writers from the Caribbean region. Her stories are gritty and also funny and very real. Read her if you want to know about the Caribbean. Kerry Young is unique - Monique Roffey, winner of the OCM BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Literature

Gloria is a brilliant, observant, sometimes complex read, but with clear and simple messages, it speaks to the feminist and equal rights campaigner in all of us - ***** Western Mail

A very authentic portrayal of a woman's lot in 1950s, 1960s Jamaica. I fell in love with Gloria and was turning over the pages rapidly, willing her to conquer her situation. A triumph - Alex Wheatle, author of Brenton Brown

About the Author

Kerry Young was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to a Chinese father and a mother of mixed Chinese-African heritage. She came to England in 1965 and lives in Leicestershire.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th April 2014


Kerry Young

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


400 pages


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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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