Photo credit: Mike Vicens
2012 Press Release
Prof Eddie Baugh to launch Diana McCaulay's Huracan on July 13th, 2012
Following on the heels of her bestseller Dog-Heart and a recent success as the regional winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for The Dolphin Catcher, Jamaican environmentalist and writer, Diana McCaulay, will launch her much-awaited second novel, Huracan, at the Mona Visitors' Lodge and Conference Centre at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, on Friday, July 13th at 6.30 pm.
McCaulay's first novel, Dog-Heart, won a Gold Medal in the 2008 Jamaican national creative writing awards, was a best seller in local bookstores in 2010, and is currently shortlisted for the 2012 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing.
Professor Edward Baugh, a noted author and literary scholar, will be the guest speaker at the launch, which is sponsored by independent bookstore Bookophilia and specialty wine and cheese retailer, Uncorked.
An imaginative retelling of the author's own family history, Huracan tells the story of Leigh McCaulay, who left Jamaica at fifteen for the US and returns home in 1986 in the wake of her m other's death to reconnect with her homeland. She is forced to confront her estranged father and the family secrets he holds. As she rebuilds a life in contemporary Jamaica, the reader learns of her abolitionist and missionary ancestors - Zachary Macaulay and John McCaulay - who settled in Jamaica in 1786 and 1886 respectively. Across the generations, each of the arrivals must come to terms with the contradictions of a society immured in injustice, racial inequality and endemic violence; a landscape of heartbreaking beauty; and a people who endure with an unquenchable urge for independence. Huracan is the story of an island nation told through the eyes of those who came, of their crimes, their acts of mercy and their search for love and redemption.
Published by Peepal Tree Press in the UK, Huracan is riveting historical and contemporary fiction, filled with insightful details of over two centuries of life in Jamaica. "I think of Huracan as an independence book" says McCaulay, "and I'm glad it's being launched in the 50th year of our independence. It's very much a reflection on our history and the nation we have built, ultimately, about what it means to be Jamaican."
Andrea Chung, owner of Bookophilia, comments, "This is a book that readers will find hard to put down. It is fiction based on research from Diana's own family tree, which adds that touch of realism to the characters and makes the story even more entertaining."
Huracan will also be distributed in Jamaica by Novelty Trading Company and is available wherever good books are sold.