Bookmarks Magazine's Reviews > The Book of Night Women

The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
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Apr 15, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: may-june-2009

By exploring the ferociously cruel and dehumanizing practices of slavery in Jamaica, James adds a new chapter to the history of human bondage in the Americas -- "a story we may dare to think we already know" (New York Times Book Review). Powerful and eloquent, The Book of Night Women is narrated in a lilting Jamaican patois that at once underscores and eerily conflicts with the disturbing images of violence and degradation that James conjures. Though the novel is filled with familiar figures -- dissolute masters, jealous mistresses, house and field slaves -- James never lets them devolve into cliches or ciphers; instead, he creates convincingly human characters. A stunning testament to the dynamics of ultimate power and powerlessness, Night Women will keep readers up at night.

This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

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