Dead Woman Pickney: A Memoir of Childhood in Jamaica
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Imprint: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Sales Date: 2022-04-01
Published: April 2022
340 Pages, 5.20 x 8.00 x 1.10 in, b/w illus.
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Dead Woman Pickney chronicles Yvonne Shorter Brown’s life growing up in Jamaica between 1943 and 1965 and teaching in Canada from 1969. Told with stridency and humour, the stories include both personal experience and history.
Taking up the haunting memories of childhood, along with persistent racial marginalization of Black people, both globally and in Canada, the author sets out to construct a narrative that at once explains her own origins in the former slave society of Jamaica and traces the outsider status of Africa and its peoples. The author’s quest to understand the absence of her mother and her mother’s people from her life is at the heart of the narrative. The author struggles through life to discover the identity of her mother in the face of silence from her father’s brutal family. In this updated edition she adds a coda, “finding mother”, constructed from archives, genealogy, letters, and journals.
Initially published in 2010, this second edition includes expanded text and a foreword by Sonja Boon, author of What the Oceans Remember.
Preface to the updated edition
Chapter 1 Early childhood memories
Chapter 2 Louisiana Blues, circa 1950-54
Chapter 3 Life and schooling in May Pen, circa 1955-62
Chapter 4 Clarendon College, Chapelton, January 1960-July 1961
Chapter 5 Becoming a Teacher, Mico College, 1962-65
Coda Finding Mother 1990-2020