Ma Taffy may be blind but she sees everything. So when her great-nephew Kaia comes home from school in tears, what she senses sends a deep fear through her. While they wait for his mama to come home from work, Ma Taffy recalls the story of the flying preacherman and a great thing that did not happen. A poor suburban sprawl in the Jamaican heartland, Augustown is a place where many things that should happen don't, and plenty of things that shouldn't happen do. For the story of Kaia leads back to another momentous day in Jamaican history, the birth of the Rastafari and the desire for a better life.
Augustown is a novel about inequality and aspiration, memory and myth, and the connections between people which can transcend these things but not always change them. It is a window onto a moment in Jamaican history, when the people sought to rise up above their lives and shine.
Kei Miller was born in Jamaica in 1978. He has published two novels, The Last Warner Woman and The Same Earth (unpublished in the U.S.), as well as several collections of poetry and a book of short stories, The Fear of Stones and Other Stories, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. In 2014, he won the prestigious Forward Prize for Best Collection, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion. He lives in London and teaches Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.