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By Love Possessed: Stories [Paperback]

Lorna Goodison

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Book Description

Jan. 31 2012

These beautifully crafted stories will introduce readers to the fiction of one of our literary bright lights – Lorna Goodison, the internationally renowned poet and award-winning author of the memoir From Harvey River. In sensuous language textured with the cadences of Creole speech, these stories vividly evoke a world where pride, injustice, love, and unexpected changes of fortune leave their mark but cannot extinguish the human spirit.

When her past lover returns to Jamaica with his Irish bride, a successful businesswoman must contend with her old flame’s renewed courtship. A well-known chanteuse with humble beginnings tells a young female reporter the tale of her life’s great turnaround. In the Pushcart Prize-winning story “By Love Possessed,” Goodison reveals the melancholy and resilience of a woman whose illusions about her dream man come to a disturbing and abrupt end.

With warm humour, empathy, and an unsentimental and perceptive eye for the foibles of human relationships, Goodison immerses us into the lives of an unforgettable community of people as they face challenges both intensely private and universally recognizable.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Emblem Editions (Jan. 31 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771035748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771035746
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #828,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A Globe and Mail Best Book

"Goodison is one of the best writers -- Canadian, Jamaican or otherwise -- you've probably never heard of. This should change with the publication of By Love Possessed, a virtuosic collection of short stories that...will likely stand among the best books released in 2011."
— National Post

"Halfway through Goodison's stunning collection, By Love Possessed, I realized I was holding my breath. . . .Goodison's alchemy of standard and Jamaican English locates us deep within the consciousness of her people. "
— Donna Bailey Nurse, Globe and Mail

From the Hardcover edition.

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.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely insight into experiences of Jamaican women with relevance for all women June 9 2013
By M. Robinson - Published on
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars I am not a big fan of short stories but.... March 6 2013
By Nadia Ferguson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was pleasantly this book. I believe this is really strong in the Jamaican context and would be appreciated by the Diaspora a great deal. It was a refreshing read with intense moments..I look forward to more works by this talented author...
5.0 out of 5 stars Lorna Goodison's By Love Possessed Jan. 22 2013
By Troy Johnson - Published on
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 on your Kindle Edition
4.0 out of 5 stars So Many Ways of Sharing Love Jan. 4 2013
By Grapes - Published on

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.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loving this book so far... July 21 2013
By 7thinferno - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Havent had the chance to complete the book yet but I like the stories Ive read so far! Especially Helpweight!

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