Synopses & Reviews
"Thoroughly well-written stories...fans of noir will enjoy this batch of sordid tales set in the sweltering heat of the tropics."
"Kingston Noir subverts the simplistic sunshine/reggae/spliff-smoking image of Jamaica at almost every turn...The collection amply rewards the reader with a rich interplay of geographies and themes."
--The Los Angeles Times
"Kingston Noir goes darker and deeper than any before...the purest of noir, and the richest depictions of Jamaica."
--The Huffington Post
Kingston Noir is an eclectic and gritty melange of tales that sears the imagination . . . Kingston Noir proves its worth as a quintessential piece of West Indian literaturerich, artistic, timeless, and above all, draped in unmistakable realism.”
--The Gleaner (Jamaica)
"Drop your energetically touted 'best of' Jamaica brochures and sink your teeth into noir that bites back: the eleven wicked, wild, and unrepentant stories in Kingston Noir feature the talents of eminent voices in Jamaican fiction."
"Some of these stories are mysterious, some are straightforward, but all are dark. There isnt a single light-hearted story in the bunch, which falls in line perfectly with the noir theme. Readers beware, there are some stories in this book that address the darkest parts of human nature: rape, torture, murder. Its not for the faint of heart. However, they are all well-written and tap into the true underbelly of another culture."
"Several of the stories in Kingston Noir succeed brilliantly in reproducing the simultaneously estranging and horrifying effects of urban violence in Jamaica. And there is something appropriately unsettling about the differences between the stories, collected and edited by Colin Channer, such that the sense of being dislodged somewhere puzzlingly dissimilar from the place one began sometimes mimics the feeling of moving through Kingston
traversing this collection as if going 'down the road,' with all the abrupt stops, shifts, and turns that Jamaicanism implies, does offer a way of connecting, piece by piece, story by story, to fragments of the city tucked away in consciousness and memory. It is a city rarely encountered in fiction; this collection satisfies a need and makes one hungry for more."
--sx salon: a small axe literary platform
"There is much to be admired in this anthology. Technically, the standard is very high throughout, but in several of the stories the writing soars."
Original stories by: Marlon James, Kwame Dawes, Patricia Powell, Colin Channer, Marcia Douglas, Leone Ross, Kei Miller, Christopher John Farley, Ian Thomson, Thomas Glave, and Chris Abani.
From Trench Town to Half Way Tree to Norbrook to Portmore and beyond, the stories of Kingston Noir shine light into the darkest corners of this fabled city. Joining award-winning Jamaican authors such as Marlon James, Leone Ross, and Thomas Glave are two "special guest" writers with no Jamaican lineage: Nigerian-born Chris Abani and British writer Ian Thomson. The menacing tone that runs through some of these stories is counterbalanced by the clever humor in others, such as Kei Miller's White Gyal with a Camera,” who softens even the hardest of August Towns gangsters; and Mr. Brown, the private investigator in Kwame Dawess story, who explains why his girth works to his advantage: "In Jamaica a woman like a big man. She can see he is prosperous, and that he can be in charge." Together, the outstanding tales in Kingston Noir comprise the best volume of short fiction ever to arise from the literary wellspring that is Jamaica.
"Akashic's latest in its series of city-specific noir anthologies (beginning with Brooklyn Noir and eventually moving overseas to include Moscow, Haiti, and many more) explores Kingston's 'turbulent dynamics, the way its boundaries of color, class, race, gender, ideology, and sexual privilege crisscross like storm-tangled power lines' through 11 original stories. Editor and Kingston native Channer lays out his perception of his hometown's culture, which he likens to that of New Orleans, 'its cultural cousin on the Mississippi,' in his too-brief introduction (which could use some background history regarding Jamaican crime writers) as 'liquor-loving, music-maddened, seafood-smitten, class-addicted,' and that image comes through loud and clear in these thoroughly well-written stories. Of them all, Kei Miller's powerful 'The White Gyal with the Camera,' about a naÃ¯ve photographer's sojourn in one of the city's grittiest neighborhoods, August Town, is most likely to linger in readers' memories. The collection, which features many stories that seem to stop before they're finished, doesn't live up to Channer's hope that it be 'nothing less than a classic,' but fans of noir will still enjoy this batch of sordid tales set in the sweltering heat of the tropics. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Following in the Caribbean footsteps of Haiti Noir
and Trinidad Noir,
now come dark stories from Jamaica's capital city.
Original stories by: Marlon James, Kwame Dawes, Patricia Powell, Roger Guinvere Smith, Colin Channer, Marcia Douglas, Leone Ross, Kei Miller, Christopher John Farley, Ian Thompson, Thomas Glave, and others.
Colin Channer's books include the novel Waiting in Vain, a critic's choice selection of The Washington Post, and the novella The Girl with the Golden Shoes. His other writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Times Literary Supplement. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, he has lived in the United States since the early 1980s. He's the editor of the fiction anthology Iron Balloons, and co-editor with Kwame Dawes of the poetry anthology So Much Things to Say.
Original stories by: Marlon James, Kwame Dawes, Patricia Powell, Roger Guenveur Smith, Colin Channer, Marcia Douglas, Leone Ross, Kei Miller, Christopher John Farley, Ian Thomson, Thomas Glave, and others.
Kingston is like Jo'burg, Rio, or New Orleans: a place of fascinating beauty and startling poverty. Located on one of the biggest (and grayest) harbors in the world and ringed by low green hills, this city of over a million likes to get its ganja from the farm to the table. It also likes its shagging one of two ways--drive-thru or buffet-style. It was founded by the survivors of a quake that sunk a pirate town. What should you expect? The ghettos of Kingston gave us ska, reggae, hip hop, dancehall, and Rastafarianism. It also gave us that rugged indie movie The Harder They Come. With over 500 murders a year for the last twenty years, the citys nickname of Killsome” is well earned. When he wrote Concrete Jungle,” Marley had this city on his mind.
About the Author
Colin Channer: Colin Channer is a father, fiction writer, and occasional essayist. His books include the novel Waiting In Vain, a critic's choice selection of the Washington Post, and the novella The Girl With the Golden Shoes. His other writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Times Literary Supplement. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, he has lived in the U.S. since the early 1980s. He's the editor of the fiction anthology Iron Ballons, and coeditor with Kwame Dawes of the poetry anthology So Much Things to Say.