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The Pirate's Daughterby Margaret Cezair-thompson
Synopses & Reviews
In 1946, a storm-wrecked boat carrying Hollywood's most famous swashbuckler arrived dramatically and accidentally in Jamaica, and the glamorous world of 1940s Hollywood converged with that of a small West Indian society. After a long and storied career on the silver screen, Errol Flynn spent much of the last years of his life on a small island off of Jamaica, throwing parties and sleeping with increasingly younger girls. Based on those years, The Pirate's Daughter is the story of Ida, a local girl who has an affair with Flynn that produces a daughter, May, who meets her father but once.
Spanning two gererations of women whose destinies become inextricably linked with the Holly wood star, The Pirate's Daughter tells the provocative history of a vanished era, of uncommon kinships, compelling attachments, betrayal, and atonement in a paradisal, tropical setting. May, the illegitimate daughter of Errol Flynn, belongs neither to the emerging black nation of Jamaica nor to the white, expatriate society on the island. Her mother, Ida, romantically adventurous, dreams of a bigger more glamorous world than that of her small seaside town. For them both, trying to find the right way to live their lives is about discovering who they are and where they truly belong.
As adept with Jamaican vernacular as she is at revealing the internal machinations of a fading and bloated matinee idol, in this culturally sensitive and delightful novel, Margaret Cezair-Thompson weaves a saga of a mother and daughter finding their way in a nation struggling to rise to the challenge of independence.
WINNER OF THE ESSENCE LITERARY AWARD IN FICTION
In 1946, Hollywoods most famous swashbuckler, Errol Flynn, arrived in Jamaica in a storm-ravaged boat. After a long and celebrated career on the silver screen, Flynn spent the last years of his life on a small island off the Jamaican coast, where he fell in love with the people, the paradisiacal setting, and the privacy, and brought a touch of Tinseltown glamour to the West Indian community.
Based on those years, The Pirates Daughter imagines an affair between the aging matinee star and Ida, a beautiful local girl. Flynns affections are unpredictable but that doesnt stop Ida from dreaming of a life with him, especially after the birth of their daughter, May.
Margaret Cezair-Thompson weaves stories of mothers and daughters, fathers and lovers, country and kin, into this compelling, dual-generational coming-of-age tale of two women struggling to find their way in a nation wrestling with its own independence.
About the Author
Margaret Cezair-Thompson was born in Jamaica, West Indies. She came to the United States at the age of nineteen to attend Barnard College, and then went on to earn a PhD in English from the City University of New York. She is the author of two novels and teaches literature and creative writing at Wellesley College.
Her first novel, The True History of Paradise (to be reprinted by Random House 2009), was short-listed for the Dublin International I.M.P.A.C. award. Her second novel, The Pirates Daughter, won the Essence Literary Award for Fiction in 2008. Other publications include short fiction, essays, and articles in Callaloo, The Washington Post, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Graham House Review, and Elle magazine. Her screenplay, Photo Finish, about a Jamaican-American athlete, was sold to Oprah Winfreys Harpo Productions.
Although she has lived outside Jamaica for some time, Margaret Cezair-Thompson retains strong ties to her native country. Like the main characters of her novels, she was a child when Jamaica became an independent nation in 1962, and she has witnessed the countrys changes, at times with deep concern and always with great interest.
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