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This story of Jamaica through the twentieth century sheds new light on an extraordinary country, through an unforgettable voice Kerry Young draws on her own mixed-heritage family history in Jamaica for this remarkable debut For fans of Andrea Levy, Monique Roffey, Toni Morrison and Edwidge Danticat
Kerry Young was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to a Chinese father and mother of mixed Chinese-African heritage. She came to England in 1965 at the age of ten. Kerry's early life with her father, a businessman who operated within Kingston's shadow economy, provided the inspiration for Pao. Kerry Young has written extensively on issues relating to youth work, including The Art of Youth Work. She lives in Leicestershire.
Impressive ... Told in a kind of Chinese-Jamaican patois, the first person narrative is captivating ... With grace, authenticity and humour, Young lets Jamaica's political history shine through the life story of her charming yet fallible hero. Brilliant * Daily Mail *
Kerry Young's energetic debut novel is a pacy but absorbing saga of domestic struggle and gangland manoeuvring set against the violent backdrop of postwar Jamaican politics ... Murder, corruption, blackmail, kidnap and incest drive the narrative ... Foregrounding Pao's personal travails against Jamaica's complex and deep-seated conflicts gives panoramic depth to the punchy tale of pungent characters and impassioned entanglements * Independent on Sunday *
Lovingly recreates the Jamaican Chinese world of [Young's] childhood, with its betting parlours, laundries, fortune telling shops, supermarkets and (business being a hard game in Jamaica) gang warfare ... In pages of patois-inflected prose, Pao celebrates the islands vibrant ethnic mix ... Confirms Young as a gifted new writer. Her novel is a blindingly good read in parts, both for its mesmeric story-telling and the quality of its prose * Observer *
A vivid portrayal of the complexities of Jamaica's violent underworld ... Kerry Young's heartfelt, sparky and affecting debut novel is a chronicle of multicultural Jamaica, both in its cultural richness and in its strife and tensions * Guardian *