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From the author of The White Woman on the Green Bicycle and Archipelago comes what might be Monique Roffey’s most ambitious and accomplished novel yet. It’s a feat of invention – a brilliant interweaving of mermaid myth and the effects of colonial legacies on modern life.
The time and place is 1976 in a small fishing village on the island of Black Conch. David is out strumming his guitar, hoping for a catch when he attracts the attention of Aycaycia, a beautiful woman whom jealous wives cursed to live as a mermaid. Some weeks later Aycaycia is caught by American tourists out on a fishing trip. Seen as source of cash, she’s strung up by them, then rescued by David. While in his care, she begins to transform back into a woman.
Blending myth and history, magic and reality, this multi-voiced, multi-textured novel (it features journal excerpts and verse) tells a rich tale of love, jealousy and freedom, exposing racism, oppression and gender inequalities through its otherworldly cloak.
March 1976: St Constance, a tiny Caribbean village on the island of Black Conch, at the start of the rainy season. A fisherman sings to himself in his pirogue, waiting for a catch but attracts a sea-dweller he doesn't expect. Aycayia, a beautiful young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid, has been swimming the Caribbean Sea for centuries. And she is entranced by this man David and his song.
|Publication date:||30th July 2020|
|Publisher:||W. F. Howes Ltd|
|Collections:||31 Unforgettable Books by Caribbean Writers - Book-aneers of the Caribbean, 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction - Women’s Words, 40 unmissable magic realist reads - “It’s real-life, but not as we know it”, 60+ Novels to Bring You Back to Nature, Our Favourite Books of 2020, 30 Hidden Gems - Fantastic Fiction That Deserves to Be on Your Radar,|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
Closing date: 30/06/2021
'Monique Roffey is a unique talent and most daring and versatile of writers' - Bernardine Evaristo
Monique Roffey is an award-winning Trinidadian-born writer. Her novels have been translated into five languages and short-listed for major awards including the Orange Prize, COSTA Fiction Award, Encore Award, and the Orion Award. In 2013, Archipelago won the OCM Bocas Award for Caribbean Literature. Her memoir, With the Kisses of his Mouth, was published in 2011. She is a Lecturer on the MFA in the Novel at Manchester Metropolitan University. She divides her time between the East end of London and Port of Spain, Trinidad. Author photo © Marlon JamesMore About Monique Roffey