Alexia Arthurs
Cover artwork by  Ebony G. Patterson

Cover artwork by Ebony G. Patterson


How to Love a Jamaican

Tenderness and cruelty, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and regret – Alexia Arthurs navigates these tensions to extraordinary effect in her debut collection about Jamaican immigrants and their families back home. Sweeping from close-knit island communities to the streets of New York City and Midwestern university towns, these eleven stories form a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life.

Alexia Arthurs emerges in this vibrant, lyrical, intimate collection as one of fiction’s most dynamic and essential authors.

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Paperback will be available in the U.S. & U.K. in June 2019

Coconut Drops    A taste of “How to Love a Jamaican”      Explore

Coconut Drops

A taste of “How to Love a Jamaican”


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reviews for “How to Love a Jamaican”

“A visceral portrait of the Jamaican experience . . . a book that defies every dreadlock-lovin’, Usain-Bolt-cheerin’, ganja-smokin’ stereotype . . . Her masterful handling of women’s sexual selves – those secret spaces where the urgency to feel loved is everything – is reason enough to read this sensual, funny, sad book . . . If you’re not Jamaican, what you have here is a special opportunity to see who we actually are: we’re not at all like you, but absolutely the same. Mostly, Arthurs has written a love letter to Jamaicans, and it feels so good. Yes, iyah. Bless up.”

— Leone Ross, The Guardian

“To overlook Jamaica’s histories while swimming along its shores is to bury its people while searching for paradise...”How to Love a Jamaican is a joy to read not just because it reminds the reader of lives that deserve close attention, but also because it magnifies, with tenderness, the multitudes within an identity too often dismissed as singular.”

— Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic

“Presenting people who are unable to be fully in one place or the other, the stories pose a question about the nature of belonging . . . [Arthurs] excels at placing her characters in a tangible world and conjuring relationships rife with ambiguities and sublimated tensions.”

The New Yorker

“The essence of Arthurs’s often-devastating, always-beautiful short fiction collection can be found in its finally tender illumination of the mother-daughter bond, and of both sides of the divide between Caribbean parents and their Americanized children.”

— Best Books of 2018, Oprah Magazine