Leigh McCaulay left Jamaica for New York at fifteen following her parents’ divorce. In the wake of her mother’s death fifteen years later, she returns to the island to find her estranged father and the family secrets he holds. Her story is told against the background of two other McCaulays who arrived in Jamaica in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a white Jamaican, Leigh has to think about her own belonging.
Diana McCaulay
ISBN number
Historical fiction
Fiction, Novel
Country setting
Publication date
30 Jun 2012

Back In Jamaica after years away, Leigh McCaulay encounters the familiarity of home along with the strangeness of being white in a black country, and struggles with guilt and confusion over her part in an oppressive history of white slave owners and black slaves. 

As Leigh begins to make an adult life on the island, she learns of her ancestors – Zachary Macaulay, a Scot sent as a young man to be a bookkeeper on a sugar plantation in 18th century Jamaica who, after witnessing and participating in the brutality of slavery, becomes an abolitionist; and John Macaulay, a missionary who comes to Jamaica in the 19th century to save souls and ends up questioning the foundations of his beliefs.

Part historical and part contemporary literary fiction, loosely based on the author’s own family history, Huracan explores how we navigate the inequalities and privileges we are born to and the possibilities for connectedness and social transformation in everyday contemporary life. But it is also the story of an island’s independence; of the people who came (those who prospered and those who were murdered); of crimes and acts of mercy; and the search for place, love and redemption.

Diana McCaulay is a Jamaican writer, newspaper columnist and environmental activist.


Diana McCaulay

Diana McCaulay is a Jamaican writer and environmental activist. She has written four earlier novels, including Dog-Heart (2010) and Huracan (2012), published by Peepal Tree Press. Both books met with critical acclaim and have broken local publishing records. Her latest novel, Daylight Come, will be published in September 2020.
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