Free
$39.99

Free

By Martin Mordecai
US$ 39.99
Book Description

Martin Mordecai’s Free is a lyrical yet unflinching examination of the ruinous intimacies sustained by and sustaining plantation slavery. Set around Jamaica’s Christmas Rebellion of 1831–32 and framed around three characters who are free themselves, but hedged in by the oppressive protocols of slavery, Free is an extended meditation on violence, memory, community, love and forgiveness. Mordecai uses the ranges and registers of the creole continuum to seduce readers into a wrenching engagement with the deformation wrought by slavery upon everyone and everything it touched.

“In Jamaican parlance, a ‘freeness’ is an act of generosity, freely given. Martin Mordecai’s novel Free, then, is aptly named. . . . It is an astounding act of remembrance, incorporating the diverse races, histories, languages and realities that were creolized to make the Caribbean what it is today . . . a tour de force of historical fiction, a passionate and vital story told by those whose words are so often silenced: the survivors. It is as rich and dark as Caribbean plum cake, as complex in flavours, each ingredient as troubled in provenance, yet in combination a celebration.”—Nalo Hopkinson, author of The Salt Roads

“In Free, history comes alive in the hands of a master prose stylist and a meticulous researcher. Martin Mordecai’s brilliant evocation of people, places and events makes us eyewitnesses to Jamaica’s Christmas Rebellion, a daring act of liberation by enslaved African Jamaicans that would hasten the end of chattel slavery in the British colonies. Generations to come will thank Mordecai for enabling us to see with new eyes the people—masters and enslaved—and their shared world of inhumanity that had to be destroyed.”—Olive Senior, author of The Encyclopaedia of Jamaican Heritage

Martin Mordecai is a Jamaican writer and photographer, now living in Canada. He is the author of the young-adult novel Blue Mountain Trouble and co-author (with Pamela Mordecai) of Culture and Customs of Jamaica.

Table of Contents
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Dedication
  • Contents
  • Dramatis Personae
  • Prologue Jason: Aboard the Eagle, Mid-Atlantic, September 1831
  • 1 Jason: Aboard the Eagle, Friday, October 28
  • 2 Narrative: Miss Abigail Walker, Friday, October 28
  • 3 Adebeh: Arrival, Friday, October 28
  • 4 Jason: Homecoming, Friday, October 28
  • 5 Elorine: Kekeré Bábà, Friday, October 28
  • 6 Jason: The Gazebo, Friday, October 28
  • 7 Adebeh: Bigi Pripri, Friday, October 28
  • 8 Jason: Letter to Carla (1), Saturday, October 29
  • 9 Narrative: Prayers and Whispers, Saturday, October 29
  • 10 Jason: Butterfly Spirits, Sunday, October 30
  • 11 Adebeh: Sunday, October 30
  • 12 Elorine: Mule, Sunday, October 30
  • 13 Jason: McKinley’s, Monday, October 31
  • 14 Elorine: Jason, Monday, October 31
  • 15 Narrative: Politics, Monday, October 31
  • 16 Jason: Blood Tree, Wednesday, November 2
  • 17 Adebeh: Wandering, Wednesday, November 2
  • 18 Elorine: Jason Come Back, Thursday, November 3
  • 19 Jason: Droit du Seigneur, Thursday, November 3
  • 20 Jason: The Will, Friday, November 4
  • 21 Elorine: Jason’s Problem, Friday, December 4
  • 22 Jason: New Maasa, Saturday, November 5
  • 23 Elorine: Prayers, Sunday, November 6
  • 24 Adebeh: Yenkunkun, Sunday, November 6
  • 25 Jason: Into the Field, Thursday, November 10
  • 26 Narrative: In Bellefields, Saturday, November 12
  • 27 Jason: Evasions—Victoria–Miranda, Sunday, November 13
  • 28 Adebeh: In Town, Monday, November 14
  • 29 Narrative: Adam, Monday, November 21
  • 30 Jason: Entertainments, Monday, November 14
  • 31 Elorine: Into the Bush, Monday, November 14
  • 32 Jason: Dinner Party, Wednesday, November 16
  • 33 Narrative: Stories, Wednesday, November 16
  • 34 Elorine: Too Late, Wednesday, November 16
  • 35 Jason: Taking the Reins, Friday, November 18
  • 36 Elorine: Going Back, Friday, November 18
  • 37 Adebeh: The Search Begins, Saturday, November 19
  • 38 Elorine: Reporting, Saturday, November 19
  • 39 Narrative: Sunday School, Sunday, November 20
  • 40 Jason: Hector and Tombo and Pompey, Monday, November 21
  • 41 Narrative: Maasa God Requireth
  • 42 Adebeh: First Scent, Wednesday, November 23
  • 43 Jason: The New Order, Thursday, November 24
  • 44 Jason: Wyckham, Friday, November 20
  • 45 Narrative: Called to Order, Saturday, November 26
  • 46 Jason: Letter to Carla (2), Sunday, November 27
  • 47 Narrative: Alone, Sunday, November 27
  • 48 Jason: Zubia Returns, Monday, November 28
  • 49 Elorine: Missing Adam, Monday, November 28
  • 50 Adebeh: One-Eye Sarah (Delphis), Monday, November 28
  • 51 Jason: Knob Hill, Tuesday, November 29
  • 52 Adebeh: Trelawny, Wednesday, November 30
  • 53 Jason: Arresting Tombo, Thursday, December 1
  • 54 Adebeh: Climbing to Sister, Thursday, December 1
  • 55 Jason: Fallen, Friday, December 2
  • 56 Elorine: Ishmael Arrested, Friday, December 2
  • 57 Jason: Visiting Prison, Friday, December 2
  • 58 Elorine: Hope in the Lord, Friday, December 2
  • 59 Narrative: Sister, Saturday, December 3
  • 60 Narrative: Decisions, Saturday, December 3
  • 61 Jason: Letter to Carla (3), Sunday, December 4
  • 62 Adebeh: Amarylis, Sunday, December 4
  • 63 Jason: A New Overseer, Monday, December 5
  • 64 Elorine: Pitchy-Patchy, Monday, December 5
  • 65 Jason: Up So, Tuesday, December 6
  • 66 Elorine: Palampam, Wednesday, December 7
  • 67 Jason: Alarums and Premonitions, Wednesday, December 7
  • 68 Elorine: Muster Day, Wednesday, December 7
  • 69 Jason: Memba, Thursday, December 8
  • 70 Elorine: Fire fe Fire, Thursday, December 8
  • 71 Jason: The Hanging of Tombo, Thursday, December 8
  • 72 Elorine: Frighten for Zion, Friday, December 9
  • 73 Adebeh: With Sister, Saturday, December 10
  • 74 Jason: Letter to Carla (4), Sunday, December 11
  • 75 Narrative: Cornelius Douglas, Tuesday, December 13
  • 76 Jason: The First Crack, Wednesday, December 14
  • 77 Elorine: Maasa Indeed, Wednesday, December 15
  • 78 Elorine: Johncrow, Thursday, December 15
  • 79 Narrative: Cries in the Night, Thursday, December 15
  • 80 Adebeh: Setting Out, Thursday, December 15
  • 81 Elorine: Missus Justice, Friday, December 16
  • 82 Adebeh: Captive, Saturday, December 17
  • 83 Jason: Letter to Reverend Swithenbank, Sunday, December 18
  • 84 Elorine: Teo’s Preachment, Sunday, December 18
  • 85 Adebeh: Pain, Sunday, December 18
  • 86 Jason: Diseased, Monday, December 19
  • 87 Elorine: Closed for the Day, Tuesday, December 20
  • 88 Jason: Ishmael’s Trial, Tuesday, December 20
  • 89 Elorine: Licence, Tuesday, December 20
  • 90 Narrative: (Ishmael), Tuesday, December 20
  • 91 Jason: The Colour of God, Tuesday, December 20
  • 92 Adebeh: Belvedere, Wednesday, December 21
  • 93 Elorine: Mawga Dawg, Wednesday, December 21
  • 94 Jason: Letters, Thursday, December 22
  • 95 Elorine: Nakedness, Thursday, December 22
  • 96 Jason: Warnings, Thursday, December 22
  • 97 Elorine: It Shall Be Well, Thursday, December 22
  • 98 Adebeh: Billy, Thursday, December 22
  • 99 Jason: Preparations, Friday, December 23
  • 100 Adebeh: Barbeque, Friday, December 23
  • 101 Jason: Miranda, Friday, December 23
  • 102 Elorine: Christmas Market, Saturday, December 24
  • 103 Jason: A Wild Idea, Saturday, December 24
  • 104 Adebeh: Enough, Sunday, December 25
  • 105 Narrative: Christmas Morning (1), Sunday, December 25
  • 106 Narrative: Christmas Morning (2), Sunday, December 25
  • 107 Jason: Duppies, Sunday, December 25
  • 108 Adebeh: Escape, Sunday, December 25
  • 109 Elorine: Birth, Monday, December 26
  • 110 Narrative: Tenky, Monday, December 26
  • 111 Adebeh: Darkness, Monday, December 26
  • 112 Jason: Is Christmas, Tuesday, December 27
  • 113 Adebeh: New World, Tuesday, December 27
  • 114 Narrative: Siddown, Wednesday, December 28
  • 115 Jason: Doing Something, Wednesday, December 28
  • 116 Elorine: Navel Tree, Wednesday, December 28
  • 117 Adebeh: On the Edge, Wednesday, December 28
  • 118 Narrative: Soldier, Wednesday, December 28
  • 119 Adebeh: Decision, Wednesday, December 28
  • 120 Jason: Rebel, Wednesday, December 28
  • 121 Narrative: A Reckoning, Wednesday, December 28
  • 122 Elorine: Born fe Dead, Wednesday, December 28
  • 123 Jason: Talking to, Thursday, December 29
  • 124 Narrative: Whip, Wednesday, December 28
  • 125 Elorine: Prayers, Wednesday, December 28
  • 126 Narrative: Black Regiment, Thursday, December 29
  • 127 Adebeh: Waiting, Thursday, December 29
  • 128 Elorine: Distant Drums, Thursday, December 29
  • 129 Narrative: Montpelier, Thursday, December 29
  • 130 Elorine: More Prayers, Thursday, December 29
  • 131 Adebeh: Through the Night, Friday, December 30
  • 132 Jason: Mercy and Revenge, Friday, December 30
  • 133 Elorine: Old Story, Friday, December 30
  • 134 Adebeh: Sister! Friday, December 30
  • 135 Elorine: Rachel Weeping, Friday, December 30
  • Acknowledgements
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