Dear readers:
For our sixth anniversary in May 2010, The Caribbean Review of Books has launched a new website at www.caribbeanreviewofbooks.com. Antilles has now moved to www.caribbeanreviewofbooks.com/antilles — please update your bookmarks and RSS feed. If you link to Antilles from your own blog or website, please update that too!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Book of the week: Horses in Her Hair, by Rachel Manley

Rachel Manley's trilogy of memoirs of her extraordinary family--which began with Drumblair and continued with Slipstream--is now completed by Horses in Her Hair: A Granddaughter's Story, the Antilles book of the week. It tells the story, from an intimate perspective, of Edna Manley, one of Jamaica's major cultural icons--artist, art patron, wife of a premier and mother of a prime minister.

From the publisher's website:

Born on England’s cold and rocky Cornish coast, Edna Manley came to Jamaica in 1922. She travelled with her husband, Norman, her newborn son, a set of sculpting tools and an insatiable curiosity about the island of her mother’s birth.... Edna’s life was inextricably linked with Jamaican politics. But she was destined to leave her own mark on her adopted country. Her legacy—-much less easily defined, perhaps than either her husband’s or her son’s—-can be seen and heard and read. It is firmly entrenched in the island’s art, in its sculpture and painting and poetry and prose. She was, some say, nothing less than the mother of Jamaica’s artistic soul.

Rachel Manley, who has also edited an edition of her grandmother's journals and published three volumes of poems, writes with scrupulous lyrical verve. Her book--like its predecessor volumes--is an important part of Jamaica's (and the Caribbean's) historical record, but it is also a moving document of three generations of a remarkable family.

No comments: