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The True History of Paradise by Margaret Cezair-thompson

The True History of Paradise

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

The first novel from the author of the Richard and Judy chosen book The Pirate’s Daughter was originally published in America in 2000 and now, owing to the success of her latest, is reissued over here almost as a new book. It’s Jamaican history again, 1981 and backtracking with a complicated mix of plots and voices which explores both the personal and the political of a war-torn land.

Comparison: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jamaica Kincaid.

If you like Margaret Cezair-thompson you might also like to read books by Victoria Hislop, Michelle Paver and Rosie Thomas.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


The True History of Paradise by Margaret Cezair-thompson

From the acclaimed author of THE PIRATE'S DAUGHTER comes a story of three women born into the divided, troubled paradise of Jamaica.Easter, 1981. With Jamaica in a state of emergency, the Landing family gathers to bury one of its own. For Monica Landing, who had not spoken to her daughter for fifteen years, the death of Lana is the cruellest kind of loss.

For Lana's youngest sister, Jean, it is an imcomprehensible tragedy. All she knows is that her beloved homeland holds no future for her. But flight means crossing a landscape where soldiers turned executioners and armed gangs rule.

It means making her way through the memories that engulf her, with perhaps the only man she has ever loved by her side. THE TRUE HISTORY OF PARADISE captures the grace, beauty and brutality that are indelible parts of the Jamaican experience.


'Authentic... convincing... Cezair-Thompson writes with talent, grace and confidence' * New York Times Book Review * 'Skilfully crafted... marvellously evocative... conveys a vivid sense of many worlds folded into one' * Washington Post *'

About the Author

Margaret Cezair-Thompson was born and raised in Jamaica, West Indies. Her first novel, the acclaimed The True History of Paradise, was published in 1999, and was shortlisted for the IMPAC Award. She is professor of English at Wellesley College, and lives in Massachusetts.

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd January 2009


Margaret Cezair-thompson

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Headline Publishing Group


448 pages


Literary Fiction
Reading Groups
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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