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If I Could Write This in Fire
Publisher: Univ of Minnesota Pr Published: Aug 15 2008 Pages: 89 Weight: 0.60lbs. Height: 8.50" Width: 5.75" Depth: 0.75" Language: English
In her first book-length collection of nonfiction, Cliff interweaves reflections on her life in Jamaica, England, and the United States with a powerful and sustained critique of racism, homophobia, and social injustice. If I Could Write This in Fire begins by tracing her transatlantic journey from Jamaica to England, coalescing around a graceful, elliptical account of her childhood friendship with Zoe, who is dark-skinned and from an impoverished, rural background; the divergent life courses that each is forced to take; and the class and color tensions that shape their lives as adults. In other essays and poems, Cliff writes about the discovery of her distinctive, diasporic literary voice, recalls her wild colonial girlhood and sexual awakening, and recounts traveling through an American landscape of racism, colonialism, and genocide - a history of violence embodied in seemingly innocuous souvenirs and tourist sites.