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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.
'Monique Roffey is a unique talent and most daring and versatile of writers' - Bernardine Evaristo
Publication date: 02/04/2020
Publisher: Peepal Tree Press Ltd
|Publication date:||2nd April 2020|
|Publisher:||Peepal Tree Press Ltd|
|Genres:||Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Relationship Stories, Diverse Voices,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
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