A Far Cry from Plymouth Rock: A Personal Narrative
After a dozen years of living and working in South Carolina, of trying to manage a writing career that spans the USA, the UK and Jamaica, of growing up in Jamaica, but hanging onto the Ghanaian passport of his birth, the question ‘Where is home?’ became ever more insistent.
Kwame Dawes
ISBN number
Country setting
United States of America
Publication date
26 Feb 2007

Part of him embraces the New World condition of being Brathwaite’s ‘poor harbourless spade’, but America has entered his psyche and his children are becoming Americans. Yet the thought of becoming an American citizen is too uncomfortable to contemplate. In a rich piece of writing that has the immediacy of a man thinking aloud and the careful structure of art, Dawes explores the experiences that bring him to this state of indecision. In the process, he writes about the things that matter to him as writer, husband, father and active citizen: place, race, nation, religion, childhood, family and parenthood, sex and death.

'A Far Cry From Plymouth Rock is a potent tale of immigration and exploration. I love that Kwame Dawes calls it a personal narrative rather than a memoir. Here, the present and the future matter as much as the past. Movement -- geographical, intellectual and spiritual -- is the ruling force. Dawes is Ghanaian by birth and Jamaican by upbringing. Life has taken him from England to Canada to the American South, with its fraught bloody past.' --Margo Jefferson

'A Far Cry from Plymouth Rock is a wonderful memoir but it is much more than that: a poet’s eloquent meditation on the complexities of history, race and the oft-broken promise of America.' -- Geoff Dyer

Kwame Dawes is the author of over thirty books, and is widely recognized as one the Caribbean’s leading writers. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and a Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska.

kwame dawes

Kwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes is the Poet Laureate of Jamaica. He is the author of twenty-two books of poetry and numerous other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. He is Glenna Luschei Editor-in-Chief of Prairie Schooner and George W. Holmes University Professor at the University of Nebraska. Dawes is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His awards include an Emmy, the Felix Dennis (Forward) Prize for Poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing, and the Windham Campbell Prize for poetry.
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