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A novel about Jamaica

by Esther Figueroa

Esther Figueroa, award winning Jamaican independent filmmaker, writer and linguist, has written an environmental novel Limbo that is officially released by Arcade Publishing today. Book launches and readings are scheduled for Barbados: UWI Cavehill Bookstore, March 28, Jamaica: UWI Mona Department of Literatures in English, April 6, Trinidad: UWI St. Augustine & BOCAS, April 23. New York: Greenlight Bookstore, May 5.

Watch the fun book trailer (a must): 

Or visit the Facebook Page: Limbo – A Novel About Jamaica

“Limbo is what a ‘novel’ cd or shd be.”

Kamau Brathwaite, Poet, Professor Emeritus Caribbean Lit/Culture, NYU

“This brave and witty new novel… is a landmark work of extraordinary importance.”

Patricia Powell, author of The Pagoda and The Fullness of Everything

“The evocation of the Jamaican landscape is a magnificent achievement.”

George Lamming, author of In the Castle of my Skin

“Esther Figueroa deftly navigates between steamy romance, backdoor deals and

dangerous plunges into the inferno of Jamaica’s environmental disasters. But the novel’s

other side is its tender and evocative celebration of love, friendship, place and belonging.

Limbo is a page turner that will make you want to start all over again when you come to

the end.” Olive Senior, author of Dancing Lessons

“Figueroa achieves something all too rare—a deadly serious story lightened by laugh-outloud

humor and genuine warmth.” Shawna Yang Ryan, author of Water Ghosts

“Limbo is a courageous, audacious, indeed reckless work…. A true-true tale, not to be

missed!” Pamela Mordecai, author of Pink Icing, and Subversive Sonnets

Esther Figueroa’s debut novel Limbo (Arcade Publishing, March 2014) is written with the unblinking gaze of Jamaica Kincaid (A Small Place), and the playful ear for dialogue of Zadie Smith (NW). Limbo is an environmental novel about Jamaica that uniquely combines satire, romance, mystery and an environmental manifesto that “should evoke in every reader a passionate desire to redeem what is left clinging to the exposed roots [of Paradise]” (Olive Senior), with descriptions of nature that are “one of the most lyric & healing moments in Caribbean literature” (Kamau Braithwaite). Shawna Yang Ryan describes the protagonist of Limbo, the “brilliant, sexy, and adorably anxious Flora Smith,” as “one of the most charming heroines I’ve encountered in recent fiction.”

Flora Smith, Jamaican scientist and head of tiny NGO Environment Now, dedicates her life to getting Jamaicans to care about the natural environment. Flora is confronted by the nagging reality of not having enough money to keep her organization afloat, but relief may be in sight when sand is stolen from a planned resort owned by a wealthy developer, who promises a hefty donation if she can help. In Jamaica, the land of “No Problem Mon,” everything is known but off the record. Can Flora get anyone to be held accountable? Can she find solutions for any of Jamaica’s problems? When people start to disappear, including those she holds dear, will she be able to avoid becoming embroiled in corrupt politics, dirty money, and even a murder?

Limbo is a humorous, sensuous romp, detailing one woman’s struggle to find ways to effectively achieve change while making peace with herself and her island, which she loves more than anyone. As we keep pace with the indefatigable, irrepressible Flora, we experience the not-so-tidy challenges of balancing a valiant public persona with a chaotic personal life. Through her attempts at transforming the world and herself, we encounter deep friendship, new love, and the complexities of contemporary Jamaica, a place of achingly exquisite but threatened beauty, routine brutality, and poorly hidden secrets.

About the Author:

Esther Figueroa, Ph.D. is a Jamaican independent filmmaker, writer and linguist. With thirty years of media making including television programming, documentaries, educational videos, multimedia and feature film, her activist filmmaking gives voice to those outside of mainstream media. Figueroa writes in a variety of genre – fiction and nonfiction, prose and poetry – on a wide range of topics. Her publications include Sociolinguistic Metatheory, and At Home the Green Remains. Her films include the award-winning feature documentary Jamaica for Sale. She lives in Jamaica.


youtube channel: esther figueroa

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