Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Category: Duppy Thursday

Akashic Books is proud to introduce a new flash fiction series, Duppy Thursday. Though we’re based in Brooklyn, our location envy of the Caribbean is evident throughout our catalog. One aspect of Caribbean literature that appeals to us is the integration of folklore into contemporary stories—a perfect example being Jamaican author Marlon James’s debut novel John Crow’s Devil, which we published to great critical acclaim in 2005. Whether it be the spider Anansi, the devil woman La Diablesse, the Soucouyant, Mama Dlo, or Papa Bois, these mythical beings have injected life (and death) into the literature of the region. As with our other flash fiction series, we challenge you to tell your story in 750 words or less.

“Night Class” by Andre Bagoo

The Mayfair was over, the lights turned off, the bran tub emptied, the decorations taken down and locked in cupboards safely. The bouncy castle stood still, awaiting the workmen who would remove it tomorrow. The gates to the schoolyard were shut, and the sentry assumed duty. No one saw the boy in black . . .

“Naga” by Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

Naga raced across the floor. She knew if she crawled, the pebbles would dig into her skin and make her sore. She made for the nearest pole and climbed to the highest rafter, where she curled up and watched the man on the crocus-sack mattress, grunting and writhing . . .

“Lobo” by Richard Georges

Gus sipped lemongrass tea from a foam cup. It was still dark. His secondhand truck idled outside the market as four men clambered into its tray. This was where he picked up workers for the day—mostly men who came to the island at night in quiet boats. The men clutched grease-stained paper bags and chattered loudly between bites of johnnycakes and various patties. Four men got into the truck’s tray. Gus was expecting five . . .

“Tamarind Mouth Comes Home” by Portia Subran

The rain stops now and I shake my head to fling the last drop off my big straw hat. It have a freezing trickle of water running down my arm, a silver ball escaping down to the tip of my finger. Forest rain does be like that: cold in the humidity, shining like hell when the light touch it . . .


Featured: Young Adult/Middle Grade