Author Pamela Mordecai will read from her debut novel Red Jacket next week, which tells the tale of a Caribbean-born woman who learns the truth about her existence.
Mordecai, born in Jamaica and educated both there and in the United States, is the author of five collections of poetry, five children’s books, a collection of short fiction and a reference work on Jamaica with her husband, Martin.
The reading will take place Thursday, March 5, from 4:30 to 6:30pm, at 626 Kaneff Tower, Keele campus.
Her novel, Red Jacket, follows Grace Carpenter as she grows up on the Caribbean island of St. Chris. Carpenter wonders how it is that her extended family is black, while she is a redibo, with copper-coloured skin, red hair and grey eyes.
Unkind people taunt her with names like “red jacket.” Years later, as an adult working for the World Health Organization in West Africa, she meets Jimmy Atule, an unusual priest with an unnerving gift. With his help, Grace confronts the truth about her birth and deciphers the mystery of her true identity.
Mordecai immigrated to Canada in 1994 with her family. A former language arts teacher with a PhD in English, she has compiled several textbooks, and edited and co-edited groundbreaking anthologies of Caribbean writing.
In 2010, her play El Numero Uno had its world premiere at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People. She has read at major festivals, including the International Festival of Authors in Toronto and the Miami International Bookfair. In spring 2014, she was a fellow at Yaddo artists’ community (yaddo.org) in upstate New York.
For more information, visit the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean website.