PEN OPEN BOOK AWARD FINALIST
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Slate • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews • Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Ma Taffy may be blind but she sees everything. So when her great-nephew Kaia comes home from school in tears, what she senses sends a deep fear running through her. A teacher has cut off Kaia’s dreadlocks—a violation of the family’s Rastafari beliefs—and this single impulsive action will have ramifications that stretch throughout the entire community. Kaia’s story brings back memories from Ma Taffy’s youth, including the legend of the flying preacherman and his ties to the history of Jamaican oppression and resistance—all of which will reverberate forward to the present and change Augustown forever.
Vividly bringing to life Jamaica in the 1980s, Augustown follows one family’s struggle to rise above the brutal vicissitudes of history, race, class, collective memory, violence, and myth.