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Motherland and Other Stories

by Wandeka Gayle

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Shorter Reads

Motherland and Other Stories Synopsis

From London, the USA and the Caribbean, Wandeka Gayle’s mostly young black women protagonists win our hearts as risk-taking, adventurous explorers of the white world, away from home, which at some point has been Jamaica. 

They include Roxanne who starts work in a care home in London, who strikes up a rapport with a depressed old man who used to be a writer; Ayo who heads to college in Louisiana, and fights off the internalised voice of her godly, tambourine-beating aunt to begin an affair with an engaging, slightly older white man; there’s Sophia who comes to work in Georgia, who struggles to know whether her inability to engage more deeply with other people is really about racism or, rather,  a more personally embedded reluctance. What characterises these women is a readiness to encounter, an attempt to get to grips with the oddities and strangeness of the white world, and like Ayo to engage with it, whilst being pretty sure that Forrest “could never understand her world”. They take risks and are sometimes forced to pay for their courage.

Other characters have to confront situations of their own making, like Angela returning from the USA for her mother’s funeral, trying to find some point of contact with the now almost grown children she abandoned, or Melba who, after her husband dies, must confront the silence she has permitted in their marriage.

The situations that Wandeka Gayle writes about are in the main the stuff of everyday life, but what really elevates this collection is Gayle’s skill, empathy, grace and acute psychological understanding of her characters.  

Win a Brilliant Orenda Book Bundle!

Win a Brilliant Orenda Book Bundle!

Closing date: 30/06/2021

We're teaming up once again with Orenda to offer another brilliant book giveaway! Not only is a bundle of Orenda Books up for grabs, we also have a £15 voucher for the winner to use on Orenda's new look website! This book bundle will include some of their latest releases from April to June. A fantastic opportunity to stock your bookshelves. The titles up for grabs are: The Source be Sarah Sultoon - Published 15th April Facets of Death by Michael Stanley - Published 29th April The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl - Published 13th May This is How We Are Human by Louise Beech - Published 10th June Everything Happens for a Reason by Katie Allen - Published 10th June One Last Time by Helga Flatland - Published 24th June This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 30th June 2021. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

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Motherland and Other Stories Press Reviews

“Motherland and Other Stories is one of the best debuts I’ve read in years. Each story is a revelation and a wonder, an exquisite microcosm unto its own, and Wandeka Gayle is the magician who brilliantly and deftly draws the reader into the lives of her protagonists for whom “home” is an elusive idea as they struggle to find their place in the world. Fans of Edwidge Danticat, Paule Marshall, and Michelle Cliff will be delighted by these beautifully written and genuinely moving stories. Wandeka Gayle is a writer to watch.” 

John McNally, The Book of Ralph and The Fear of Everything

“The stories in Wandeka Gayle’s Motherland: And Other Stories are carefully, even classically, constructed and deeply affecting. I found myself wrenched between emotions, tears in my eyes more than once for these people Gayle introduces us to. What a beautiful book!” 

Rion Amilcar Scott, Insurrections and The World Doesn’t Require You

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781845234799
Publication date: 19/11/2020
Publisher: Peepal Tree Press Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781845234799
Publication date: 19th November 2020
Author: Wandeka Gayle
Publisher: Peepal Tree Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 182 pages
Genres: Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Shorter Reads,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Wandeka Gayle

More About Wandeka Gayle

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