A Tall History of Sugar (Hardcover)

A Tall History of Sugar By Curdella Forbes Cover Image
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A haunting, epic Caribbean love story, reminiscent of García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera.

Winner of the 2020 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction

A Tall History of Sugar is a gift for grown-up fans of fairy tales and those who love fiction that metes out hard and surprising truths. Forbes’s writing combines the gale-force imagination of Margaret Atwood with the lyrical pointillism of Toni Morrison.” —New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice

A Tall History of Sugar tells the story of Moshe Fisher, a man who was “born without skin,” so that no one is able to tell what race he belongs to; and Arrienne Christie, his quixotic soul mate who makes it her duty in life to protect Moshe from the social and emotional consequences of his strange appearance.

The narrative begins with Moshe’s birth in the late 1950s, four years before Jamaica’s independence from colonial rule, and ends in the era of what Forbes calls “the fall of empire,” the era of Brexit and Donald Trump. The historical trajectory layers but never overwhelms the scintillating love story as the pair fight to establish their own view of loving, against the moral force of the colonial “plantation” and its legacies that continue to affect their lives and the lives of those around them.

Written in lyrical, luminous prose that spans the range of Jamaican Englishes, this remarkable story follows the couple’s mysterious love affair from childhood to adulthood, from the haunted environs of rural Jamaica to the city of Kingston, and then to England—another haunted locale in Forbes’s rendition.

About the Author

CURDELLA FORBES was born in Jamaica and now lives in Takoma Park, Maryland. She teaches at Howard University. She is the author of A Tall History of Sugar.

Praise For…

Forbes provides an eclectic, feverish vision of Jamaican ‘history’ from the 1950s to the present glimpsed through the experiences of an abandoned mystic-child named Moshe, whose translucent skin and mismatched eyes defy racial category. Who he is and who he becomes—like the country itself—is a riddle that unfolds in episodic bursts and linguistic flourishes.
— Vanity Fair, one of the Best Books of 2019

A mesmerizing love story that takes place over 50 years in Jamaica.
— O, the Oprah Magazine

Forbes’s ambitious, fantastic tale will appeal to fans of multigenerational sagas.
— Publishers Weekly

A powerful journey into the souls of two lovers, two countries, and the people caught in the wakes of empires.
— Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

A meditation on colonial legacy.
— Travel + Leisure
Product Details
ISBN: 9781617757518
ISBN-10: 1617757519
Publisher: Akashic Books, Ltd.
Publication Date: October 1st, 2019
Pages: 368
Language: English