New Book: Pamela Mordecai’s “Red Jacket”


Pamela Mordecai’s novel Red Jacket (TAP Books) is now available for pre-ordering and it will be on the shelves on February 28, 2015 (although it must be available already because I just saw a photo of the author with a stack of them at a launch!) Red Jacket explores the mysteries of heritage and language in various ways; as the author explains in “To Creole, or not to Creole,” the characters speak English, a Caribbean Creole, and French.  She continues: “And anybody who can should learn to speak a creole – not the easiest task, but well worth the trouble! Like most other languages, it is easier to understand it than to speak it. The protagonist in Red Jacket, Grace, has a Canadian roommate at the University of Toronto who gives it a shot, with considerable success.” I am curious about this novel and I intend to purchase it as soon as it becomes available.

Description: Growing up as part of a large, loving family on the Caribbean island of St. Chris, Grace Carpenter is happy but puzzled about her identity. Although her extended family is black, she is a redibo, with copper-coloured skin, freckles, reddish hair, and grey eyes. Sometimes she gets called names, but the question of why she is different is never explained.

As this masterful novel unfolds, we gradually learn the story of Grace’s birth mother, just a teenager herself at Grace’s birth, and why Grace was adopted by the Carpenters. As she grows and prospers, she is still plagued by the mystery surrounding her birth and a yearning to understand her heritage and who she truly is.

imagesPamela Mordecai is a scholar, poet, playwright, and prose writer from Jamaica. She has published textbooks, collections of poetry, children’s books and an anthology of short stories. [The anthology—Her True-True Name, edited with Elizabeth “Betty” Wilson—is partly responsible for my decision to focus on Caribbean literature in graduate school (thanks to Elrica D’Oyen-Gebert for recommending it).] Her writing has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Award for Poetry, the Bridport Prize (poetry) and the James Tiptree Award for Speculative fiction. Other awards include the Institute of Jamaica’s Centenary and Musgrave Medals and Jamaica’s Vic Reid Award for Children’s Writing. Mordecai has lived in Canada since 1994.

For more information, see and

For purchasing information, see

See more on Red Jacket on the author’s page at

3 thoughts on “New Book: Pamela Mordecai’s “Red Jacket”

  1. Many thanks to Ivette Romero for sending info on RED JACKET to Repeating Islands and to RI for the feature. A couple corrections. The photo of me with copies of RED JACKET was taken at our dining table for PR purposes, and not at a launch. Also, the short story collection referred to in my bio is not HER TRUE-TRUE NAME but a book of stories written by me, and published in a collection called PINK ICING by Insomniac Press in 2006. See and Evelyn O’Callaghan’s review in CALLALOO here:

    1. Dear Pamela:
      I am traveling for work but hope to fix the errors soon! Thanks for taking the time to correct.

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