Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Violent Stories from Jamaica's First International Novelist

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Violent Stories from Jamaica's First International Novelist

Article excerpt

Violent Stories from Jamaica's First International Novelist John Hearne. Shivaun Hearne, Editor. John Hearnes Short Stories. Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press, 2016. ISBN: 978-976-640606-6.

I did not request this set of books, so there are a lot of items here that are not the sort of books that I enjoy reading. I stopped reading fiction for fun around the time I had to read hundreds of books for my PhD dissertation. When I do read fiction, I prefer Dickens, Scott or something else that's dense both linguistically and in political significance. So, I am biased before I start reading this collection of short stories.

It is from the first internationally recognized Jamaican author. This is the first collection of his short stories, which have had almost no traction in comparison with his popular novels. The back cover advertises Hearne as somebody who "examines fundamental human truths rather than social politics or a nationalistic agenda." As I mentioned, the politics and agendas are the bits that most interest me in fiction, as I view fiction as a propagandistic tool that has shifted world politics by convincing otherwise disengaged readers of the right course of action. …

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