Everything Caribbean

Another Mother review: Jamaica memoir skips island's darker history

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A story of a nanny who came to Princeton from Pisgah would have benefited from engagement with unpleasant realities

Unlike most Jewish boys from New Jersey, I have a Jamaican accent,” Ross Kenneth Urken writes in his debut, an affectionate memoir. While this may have the ring of a conversation overheard at a hipster Brooklyn bar, Urken claims it’s “the honest-to-goodness truth, and it all started with Dezna”.

Related: Silver, Sword and Stone review: much blood shed, little improvement

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Urken’s curiosity extends into excavating the complexity of Dezna’s life, less so into the tangled history of Jamaica

Related: Empire’s Crossroads review – ‘a strikingly assured history of the Caribbean’

Carrie Gibson is author of Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day. Her latest book is El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic America

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