New Book: Kei Miller’s “L’authentique Pearline Portious”


Kei Miller’s 2012 novel The Last Warner Woman has been translated into the French by Nathalie Carré and published as L’authentique Pearline Portious by Éditions Zulma. Here are two descriptions:

Description (from Éditions Zulma): [. . .] Listen very carefully to the story of a powerful woman, a prophetess, a true-true woman: Adamine Bustamante. She will tell you that she was born in Jamaica in a leper colony, where her ephemeral mother, the authentic Pearline Portious, knitted colorful bandages simply because they were more cheery. There, the equally fabulous Mman Lazare delayed her time to die until she was one hundred years old, of course, to be able to raise the little one. . .

Two voices are not too many to tell this story. The story told by of Adamine, with her verve and powerful breath, whispering to the wind her story, at the time when she was the greatest Crieuse de Vérité [Truth Teller] in Jamaica; and that of the writer, seeking to retrace the life of the last prophetess. Their stories intersect, respond to one another—you should see Adamine giving a lecture “Mr. Gratte-Papyè” (Mr. Writer Man) and gradually weave a map of the most secret affiliations between two worlds.

Description (from Amazon): Adamine Bustamante is born in one of Jamaica’s last leper colonies. When Adamine grows up, she discovers she has the gift of “warning”: the power to protect, inspire, and terrify. But when she is sent to live in England, her prophecies of impending disaster are met with a different kind of fear—people think she is insane and lock her away in a mental hospital.

Now an older woman, the spirited Adamine wants to tell her story. But she must wrestle for the truth with the mysterious “Mr. Writer Man,” who has a tale of his own to share, kei-miller-tom-langdon-370one that will cast Adamine’s life in an entirely new light. In a story about magic and migration, stories and storytelling, and the New and Old Worlds, we discover it is never one person who owns a story or has the right to tell it.

Kei Miller was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1978. He the author of The Same Earth, winner of the Una Marson Prize for Literature; and Fear of Stones, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book.

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