Paul Crooks

Paul Crooks

“The George Cross is a follow-up to my previous book, Ancestors. I wanted to interpret and paint a picture of a social order, fettered by the legacy of slavery. My parents are from Jamaica. My father came to England during the late 1950’s. The stories my father told me about growing up in Jamaica were often disconnected, embellished and contradicting. I heard much about African Caribbean’s being persecuted and oppressed down through the ages to our arrival in Britain and beyond. I made up my mind that I would write a book that rings with not just authenticity and detail, but humour.” From the Introduction

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“I reach the St Johns Anglican church and as usual, all I can think about is death, especially when I catch sight of the stone wall and railings. I see the lovely coloured bible pictures in glass windows overlooking graves. I pray that when I am old, that God will come for me in my sleep. I don’t want to feel any pain, like the drunkard must have when he split his head. I hope they lay me to rest under the gaze of the Virgin Mary, like the great and the not so great do. They lie beneath the earth, under tombstones where soon to be curried goat graze, pee and do number twos. Mother says the great and the not so great made Jamaica the land we love. Clifford says tombstones silently recall who these people were, and where and when they lived. ‘Silently recall’. I like when Clifford talks like that.” From ‘The George Cross’ – included in the showcase

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