Augustown by Kei Miller

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Despite the novel’s relative brevity, Miller captures the ways community, faith, and class create a variety of cultural microclimates.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Ma Taffy may be blind, but she sees everything. So when her great-nephew, Kaia, comes home from school in tears, what she senses sends a deep fear through her.

While they wait for Kaia's mama to come home from work, Ma Taffy recalls the story of the flying preacherman and a great thing that did not happen. A poor suburban sprawl in the Jamaican heartland, Augustown is a place where many things that should happen don't, and plenty of things that shouldn't happen do. For the story of Kaia leads back to another momentous day in Jamaican history, the birth of the Rastafari and the desire for a better life.

Augustown is a novel about inequality and aspiration, memory and myth and the connections between people which can transcend these things but not always change them. It is a window onto a moment in Jamaican history when the people sought to rise up above their lives and shine.

 

About Kei Miller

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Published July 14, 2016 by Orion Publishing Group.
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Augustown
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 07 2017

Despite the novel’s relative brevity, Miller captures the ways community, faith, and class create a variety of cultural microclimates.

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Washington Times

Good
Reviewed by Claire Hopley on Apr 27 2017

Readers can almost see Kei Miller having fun writing this dialogue. Indeed, “Augustown” feels like a novel that its author enjoyed writing. It’s certainly a serious pleasure to read.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Natasha Tripney on Jul 11 2016

Miller explores cultural, religious and racial divisions in Jamaican society amid a wider dialogue about written and oral storytelling, and the way myths can shift through their retelling...

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Colin Grant on Jul 08 2016

The beguiling simplicity of the narrative and prose yields to the profound realisation that for the people of Augustown, the only way to “fly away to Zion” is through death; and some indeed are prepared, are “ready fi dead”.

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