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By Love Possessed: Stories Paperback – May 29, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A matchless mosaic portrait. . . . A perfect complement to her evocative, widely admired memoir. . . . The voices come vividly off the page. . . . [Goodison] taps deeply into universal experience and offers up these lives with brutal honesty and poignant humanism.” (Elle)

“Every tale . . . introduces characters that will sustain your interest far more than novels with twice the length and none of the panache of Goodison’s sparkling prose.” (Essence)

“Alternating between flat-out humor, aching pain, and the confusion of bridging cultures, [these] stories weave around one another in a rhythmic, engaging palette of language and characters sure to remain with the reader.” (Booklist)

“[A] captivating and poetic collection.” (Library Journal)

“Goodison deals with the physical world and the words flung between her powerful characters—she’s scoring a dance. . . . It’s an addictive game to play, paying attention to the silences in the songs.” (Daily Beast)

“A beautifully written and evocative book. . . . Goodison finds a glittering and urgent beauty in the everyday, without shying away from a frank confrontation of those moments when the everyday is shattered by trauma.” (Danielle Evans, author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool SelfDanielle Evans, author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self)

“Few writers are as attuned as Goodison to the heartaches and triumphs of Jamaicans, especially Jamaican women. . . . Fewer writers still tell us so much about what it means to be human.” (Elizabeth Nunez, author of Prospero's Daughter and Boundaries)

“How Lorna Goodison manages to capture so much about human complexities in these stories is baffling. I just love this book.” (Uwem Akpan, author of Say You're One of Them)

From the Back Cover

With this highly praised collection of short fiction, Lorna Goodison demonstrates why she may be one of literature's best-kept secrets. In the Pushcart Prize-winning title story, humble Dottie thinks her luck has turned when she meets Frenchie, the best-looking, if not most reliable, man in the whole of Jamaica. In "The Helpweight," an accomplished woman must bear the burden of an old flame's renewed affections when he returns from a life abroad with his Irish bride in tow. And in "Henry," a young boy turned out of his house to make way for his mother's lover sells roses on the street to survive. On a whim, he bites off a bloom, which he can feel burning inside his mouth like a red pepper light, hoping it will take root and beautify his own life. Poetically rendered, these and over a dozen other evocative stories create a world in which pride can nourish a soul or be its ruin and where people are in turn uplifted and undone by love.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Amistad; Original edition (May 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062127357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062127358
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,500,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Grapes on January 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
aalbc.comlorna-goodison

Jamaicans living in Jamaica and in the states while loving and not loving is an idea about what each story is about. Lorna Goodison in By Love Possessed made me feel as if I were in the center of a neighborhood where houses had no walls. This feeling gave me the ability hear and see exactly what was going on with each person in a story. I have never liked all the stories in a collection. In this anthology I only disliked one. However I did have trouble reading the Jamaican dialect. It slowed down my usual reading pace. I don't know the answer to whether the short stories feel more real because of the Jamaican speech patterns. The author does so well describing foods and places I feel the intensity of each story would remain just as strong if written totally in American. I am looking forward to reading Lorna Goodison's poetry and a book titled From Harvey River.
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Format: Paperback
Lorna Goodison's latest book, "By Love Possessed," is a Jamaican-themed, short-story collection with an emphasis on love in its various stages. There's new love, unrequited love, old love, and then some.

By Love Possessed is filled with tales of strong Jamaican women (sometimes at the expense of weaker men). The dialogue is authentic; the stories unique. And the characters are simply unforgettable. In other words, "Mi tink" readers, especially women, will enjoy this short story collection.Read the full review and more book reviews from AALBC.com on your Kindle Edition
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this compendium of short stories by Lorna Goodison. I could so easily relate to her stories from a Caribbean and Jamaican perspective..but women all over will relate to the universality of the themes of love and joy, hate, rejection, endurance and above all redemption. Some stories end abruptly and you are left wanting more but overall beautifully and simply written with an emotional appeal that is slowly but intensely stirred.
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