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Iron Balloons: Hit Fiction From Jamaica’s Calabash Writer’s Workshop

Edited by:

Jamaica’s literary lion Colin Channer presents new fiction from the freshest young Jamaican authors and the Calabash International Literary Festival’s Extended Family.

$19.95 $14.96

Available as an e-book for:


Check out editor Colin Channer’s novella, The Girl with the Golden Shoes.

Read Colin Channer’s contribution to “My Caribbean – 5 Vignettes,” which appeared in the November 10, 2013 issue of the New York Times.

Reggae’s rebel spirit blazes in this hot selection of short fiction from Jamaica’s Calabash Writer’s Workshop. Set in the Caribbean and the USA, the stories sweep across a range of moods and genres to create a narrative LP of fascinating voices. From the old lady who gives a “how to” speech on beating children, to the schizophrenic singer who thinks he’s Bob Marley, to the hotel maid who gets a sexual offer that she can’t refuse, the diverse mix of characters are linked by the fundamental principle that all clichéd conventions must be shouted off the page. In the proudly odd tradition of Jamaican music, the selections seek to entertain while asking daring questions that provoke new ideas into being.

New writing from: Colin Channer, Marlon James, Elizabeth Nunez, Kwame Dawes, Kaylie Jones, Geoffrey Philp, Rudolph Wallace, Konrad Kirlew, Alwin Bully, A-dziko Simba, and Sharon Leach.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Colin Channer

“The Last Jamaican Lion,” Marlon James
“Parting,” Alwin Bully
“Someone to Tell,” A-dZiko Simba
“Siblings,” Rudolph Wallace
“How to Beat a Child the Right and Proper Way,” Colin Channer
“All Ah We Is One,” Elizabeth Nunez
“The Anger Meridian,” Kaylie Jones
“I Want to Disturb My Neighbor,” Geoffrey Philp
“A Little Embarassment for the Sake of Our Lord,” Konrad Kirlew
“Sugar,” Sharon Leach
“Marley’s Ghost,” Kwame Dawes


Book Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Published: 6/1/06
  • IBSN: 9781933354057
  • e-IBSN: 9781617750922


COLIN CHANNER was born in Jamaica to a pharmacist and cop. Junot Díaz calls him “one of the Caribbean Diaspora’s finest writers.” His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Harvard Review, The Common, and Renaissance Noire, among other places. Channer has served as Newhouse Professor in Creative Writing at Wellesley College and Fannie Hurst Writer in Residence at Brandeis University. His many books of prose include the novella The Girl with the Golden Shoes, “a very moving and mesmerizing journey” in the words of Edwidge Danticat. He won the Silver Musgrave Medal in Literature in 2010 and currently lives in New England. Providential is his first poetry book.

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