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BOOK OF THE NIGHT WOMEN By: Marlon James June 3, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

     It is a very difficult task for a writer to pull off dialect in their dialogue, but Marlon James does so in THE BOOK OF NIGHT WOMEN with a skill not seen since Zadie Smith’s novel WHITE TEETH. If you are looking for a book discussion selection, this is an excellent candidate. The story takes place on a 1700s – 1800′s Jamaican sugar plantation, and is written from the point of view of Lilith, a beautiful green-eyed mulatto slave. This very brutal, heartbreaking, and realistic account reads smoothly and quickly. The dialect does not distract, rather it helps inject the reader completely into the setting. This powerful novel is a perfect choice if you want to read a book that will stay in your mind and your heart. It is also a wonderful example of how to write realistic dialogue and develop strong characters for those who now pen, or aspire to someday write stories of their own.



1. Kimberly - July 8, 2010

This is indeed the one of the most powerful novels I’ve ever read. What’s blowing me away is the way that James deals with women’s voices and with the concept of internalized racism–he forces us to look at how we participate in our own oppresion. I’d like to talk with others about this piece. It’s as important as the works of Ellison, Morrison, Walker, Beaty, Butler and others. Amazing.

lycan librarian - July 9, 2010

I totally agree with you about the power and importance of this work. Some patrons have been frightened off by the dialect, so didn’t indulge in the book, but I can’t stress enough that this novel is very much worth reading. It is a window through which to watch the emotions working within human beings and the lengths we will go to in order to succeed and survive. It’s an eye opener and all about ourselves. After a few pages, the language falls into place and the reader literally races through the book, so, everyone, do take the time to read this, and then let Kimberly and I know your feelings.

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