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.

“The Pappyon Caper” by Eleanor Simon

The airport was abuzz with travelers. After a year of performing for audiences who shouted “yes” to their Haitian music, Pappyon, Neg Mawan, Yatande and Zilibo—known as The Haitian Cats—were going on vacation . . .

“Daddy Bats is Not Coming to Save You” by Justin Haynes

Daddy Bats lives with you in a one-bedroom flat in Belmont—until today. This morning, Daddy Bats flicks the cold from the corners of your eyes, and just after Radio Trinidad announces the day’s deaths, he marches you between lively trucks and horn-blowing super saloons up the hill to the orphanage.

“Don’t worry, son,” Daddy Bats says as he kneels before you. “Is only for a few days. Then I will save you . . .”

“El Silbón” by Montague Kobbé

It was all because of the squeal of the windshield wiper. Not the rumbling racket it made as it stammered back along the pane. No, that wasn’t so bad. But the squeal on the way down—shrill, insistent, bleak. Who could stand that shit? . . .

“Careful what you wish for” by Barbara Jenkins

Hark!

When the First People found her sparse remains, Karinya’s body had already entered the Eternal Circle of Life, her spirit as free as the corbeaux circling overhead.

Wait. It’s chilly here. Let me get more comfortable . . .

“Ilyeana” by Sharon Millar

When the young soucouyant first realised there was a baby growing in her, she held the thought in her head tightly, boxing it in the same way you might wrap a pastelle: fold one side over and seal before folding the other side . . .


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