Eavesdropping

Nicole Dennis-Benn Finds Trouble in Paradise

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Photo Credit: Jason Berger
Dennis-Benn cover

Lately, there’s been a flowering of fiction from Caribbean writers. Jamaican-born Marlon James won last year’s Man Booker prize. Now he’s one of a chorus of voices singing the praises of his countrywoman Nicole Dennis-Benn, and her debut novel, “Here Comes The Sun.”

“This novel touches on a lot of issues in Jamaica, and particularly, identity, sexuality, race, and class,” Nicole tells us. “Most of these issues, I’ve seen firsthand as an out lesbian woman. I wasn’t out in Jamaica, but this scene resonated with me the most because of what you risk by being out.”

“One of the characters is Verdene,” she adds. “She Verdene’s internal conflict really is that she claims a country that [does] not claim her. In fact, they fear her.”

[Ed note: This five-minute story contains mentions of disturbing violence. Sensitive listeners: forewarned.]