Jacob Ross

I interviewed the Greneda born author Jacob Ross yesterday, for the Caribbean Review of Books. His new book Pynter Bender is a masterpiece of fiction from the Caribbean which took twelve years to write. I first met Jacob at Totleigh Barton five years ago. He was chosen as one of the Jerwood mentors for the fiction mentoring scheme – so prized was he as an Arvon tutor. He read out an amazing short story from one of his collections, A Way to Catch the Dust. This fine novel has something of that same ancient Yoruba mythology; it has something, too, of the poet’s love of language, the creole’s love of his own Afro-European lexicon. Pynter, born into rural poverty, into a strong matriarchal system, is blind at birth – but has his sight restored by Santay, a shango woman.

We follow him from the cane fields into manhood and education, into the violence of a small nation on the brink of revolution. Pynter Bender is the first of a trilogy of books – the second being set during the American invasion itself in the mid-80’s. Jacob Ross is a writer with a mission to write about his country.  When I think of the word ‘scribe’ – his name fits perfectly next to it. Jacob Ross is an author of strong gifts writing in his prime. This is robust fiction of the highest quality.

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~ by moniqueroffey on January 31, 2009.

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