Laurie Gunst’s 1995 Born Fi’ Dead, a controversial book about gang violence in Jamaica, has been translated into French and recently released in Europe by Thibault Ehrengardt, editor and publisher of the French reggae magazine Natty Dread. Virginia-born Laurie Gunst spent several years in Jamaica during the 1980s researching the history of politically aligned gangs, especially in west Kingston where the notorious Shower Posse originated. [According to the Jamaica Gleaner, because the book allegedly contains libelous stories about Edward Seaga, Born Fi’ Dead is not available in Jamaica.]
The French edition of Born Fi’ Dead is part of Ehrengardt’s new Jamaica Insula series. Ehrengardt explains that his company launched the series “to publish what we consider to be good books about Jamaica—Born Fi’ Dead definitely falls into that category.” His own book, The History of Jamaica from 1494 to 1838, is also part of the series.
In a recent interview, Ehrengardt said that the recent stand-off between security forces and gunmen in west Kingston is proof that politicians still have strong ties to gangs in Jamaica: “Nothing has really changed. Wars in the neighborhoods carry on. Politicians and gang leaders still give backhanders to their buddies.”
For full article, see http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20100718/arts/arts4.html
For reviews on the French edition of Born Fi’ Dead (in French), see http://vibrationsmusic.com/shopping/179-BORN_FI_DEAD_par_Laurie_Gunst.html and http://www.bibliosurf.com/Aux-trousses-du-rasta-gangster