Ezekel Alan

This blog is about: cotton candy, cold milo, midgets, mangoes, sex, aged rum – everything but writing my next book

Archive for the tag “Jamaican authors”

Losing touch with one’s roots

It is a clear sign of how much I have lost touch with my roots. Yesterday, a nasty, inconsiderate bird offloaded its burdens on me while I was on the way to the office. I was wearing a suit, and a fine one. If something like this had happened thirty years ago I would have saved my lunch money from school and, on my way home, stopped by the local Dropon man to buy the numbers. I would not have hurled expletives at disappearing feathers and cursed Noah for bringing two birds on-board the ark.

If my palm had itched me terribly thirty years ago I would have tried to cajole my cousins into playing marbles for money, knowing that luck was with me, and I was sure to win. When my palm itched yesterday I worried about bacteria in the metro and on the rails I had held.

It’s more than the Oceans that separate me from my homeland now. And it’s much more than time. I no longer know what leaves are good for what ailments, how to smell death on someone soon to die, what to do if I want to see ghosts and such. I’ve been so long out of the ghetto that I can’t even fake being ghetto any more. The culture of my old community feels like an alien insect that’s been extracted from beneath my skin and taken away for study.

This is perhaps why I never saw it coming. Why I didn’t realise what the bird shit and itching palm portended. You may have seen the news by now – Disposable People was, first, short-listed for the very prestigious Commonwealth Book Prize 2013. Then it won the Regional Prize for the Caribbean!

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Regional Winner- Commonwealth Book Prize 2013

The funny thing about it is, when I was writing the novel it felt more like a catharsis than a work of art. A purification of the soul, getting rid of memories, superstitions, wickedness, rottenness and things unspoken. Now a panel of international judges thinks that the purge was good. Well blow my fish!

All I can say now is that if I see a fat woman sneeze today I won’t be thinking of Avian Influenza; I will be dragging my skinny negro ass and watermelon belly out on  the town tonight to see just what else Destiny has already decided.

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Who knows, I already see an email in my inbox from a potential agent…

Disposable People

Finally! Released! For all those who have waited patiently, here it is: the first novel! The Jamaica Observer review said: “A Brilliantly Innovative Debut”, and “A Magnificent Piece of Work!” (See the full Jamaica Observer Bookends review – Sunday March 4, 2012.) The Book is available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Bookophilia Hope Road, Kingston Bookshop, and Sangsters bookstore in Jamaica.

Here’s the gist of what customers on Amazon are saying:

“I was transported to another world, where I was appalled, moved, shaken by laughter and given liberal dollops of food for thought, in equal measures. A masterful effort by a talented and unique writer!” – Waspishwit, PR Consultant.

This poignant, hilarious and candid memoir rings true and hits home hard… Indeed the language is raw, and the creolese may be befuddling to non-Caribbean readers, but the meaning and sentiment is always conveyed with complete honesty and clarity… This is the Jamaica that you won’t see from your Ocho Rios beach chair… To be honest, I read it in one sitting as I didn’t want to put it down. Highly recommended for those seeking a true West Indian experience. – Amanda Richards, April 14, 2012 (Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer)

This is a quite stunning (and in places shocking!) debut novel from Mr. Alan. The variety in the language and the rhythms that the narrator uses in telling his tale are both stimulating and at times unsettling as you are left wondering about the narrator’s mental state while he tries to come to terms with some of the terrible memories of his childhood. I think the book that this most reminded me of is Angela’s Ashes…This is a book I can see myself reading more than once and I firmly expect to read it again in a few years just because there’s such depth and imagination to it that I expect to get something new out of it every time I pick it up. – L. Hughes (USA)

 “Ezekel Alan’s book wowed me throughout on many levels…Ezekel displays gorgeous poetry, joy, beauty, culture, ideals, horror, sin, murder, fear, suspicion and faith, all surging through his tale.” –Kate Policani, Author of The Disenchanted Pet.

“Riveting, vivid, raw, yet authentic…. Mr. Alan has done a truly remarkable job of encapsulating the plight of the poor while reminding us that even in poverty there is humanity, laughter, pride, and ambition.” – C. Manning, Dacula, GA

“This is a compelling story weaved together by a literary grace that had me laughing so hard at times and then had me in tears at other moments as we go on this journey of self-exploration with the author. I was intrigued from the first page right through to the very end…” – Miss Anonymous, Bonafide Jamaican

You can download a pdf of the first 50 pages by clicking here, or read online now by clicking here. You can also go to Amazon and use the Look Inside the Book feature.

See what other readers are also saying on this blog (folks are saying). Plus the latest reviews http://katepolicanisreviews.wordpress.com/

Ten year old Kenneth Lovelace often went to bed without dinner. Instead of feeling hunger, however, what he mostly felt was fear and shame, knowing that his family’s increasing poverty was the reason he had no food. Kenneth also recalls his bitterness whenever his parents locked him out of their tiny, one-room house to act on their ‘urge’. This was in the 1970s, when Jamaica’s socialist regime was dragging the country into bankruptcy, and when an Old Timer had told him that he was cursed since birth.

Read more…

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