Black Lightning
In the woods around a remote village in Jamaica, Miriam and Glen lead each other a sexually frustrated dance; George, the stable boy, plots how he will steal a ride on the turbulent mare, Beauty; and Jake and Amos struggle with their forbidden desires for each other.
Roger Mais
ISBN number
Caribbean Modern Classics
Fiction, Novel
Country setting
Publication date
19 Oct 2015

Amidst the haunting sounds of Amos’s accordion, the angry thuds of Glen’s woodcutter’s axe and Jake’s tortured obsession with carving a head of the biblical Samson, Black Lightning explores the relationship of the artist to society, the tension between freedom and control in personal relationships, and bigotry and tolerance in community attitudes. In his third, most daring, richly layered, poetic and questioning work, Roger Mais wrote a novel whose themes are as old as human history and as pertinent as ever.

With an introduction by Jacqueline Bishop.

Black Lightning was Roger Mais’ last novel, published in 1955, the year of his death.


Roger Mais

Roger Mais was born into a comfortable, educated middle-class Jamaican family, spending his boyhood in the Blue Mountains region where his father took up farming. For the earliest part of his childhood he was taught at home and received a thorough grounding in the Bible, whose language and cadences are heard in his work. He entered Calabar High School in Kingston, but made little use of the Cambride certificate he obtained. From the age of 17 to his 30s he earned his living in a variety of jobs, office work, selling insurance, overseer on a banana plantation and as a reporter-photographer and a variety of other journalistic occupations.
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