Essays & Stories

 

Meet writer, Naomi Jackson.

How did you celebrate your 30th birthday?
I had a crew of friends and family join me at a Jamaican bar called Spur Tree on the Lower East Side. So, I'm not sure how that night ended. But I had a good time. Read more →

 

Original Rude Gal Grace Jones Taught Me How to Live
In Grace Jones, novelist Naomi Jackson finds inspiration and permission to break the mold of the proper Caribbean woman she was expected to become. Read more →

 
 © LitHub 2015

© LitHub 2015

The Literary Caribbean, From BOCAS to Brooklyn.
In Which Much Liming—and Some Wining—Occurs

After ten days in Port of Spain, Trinidad at the BOCAS Lit Fest and Alice Yard this May, I needed a lot of sleep. Trinidadians like to fête, and many have the rare gift of being able to lime (hang out) hard at night, and go to work the next morning with little effect from the previous evening’s revelry. No surprise then that BOCAS Lit Fest was unlike any literary festival I ever attended, a refreshing mix of panels, readings, film screenings, and parties alongside informal debates on the state of Caribbean writing and publishing.
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 © Charlotte Gomez | BuzzFeed

© Charlotte Gomez | BuzzFeed

Every Day Something Has Tried To Kill Me
“Being a black child in America means confronting the fragility of your life at a young age.”

My debut novel was published this summer at a moment filled with profound grief about the vulnerability of black women’s lives. This year has been marked by the distant but still painful deaths of black women I don’t know — Cynthia G. Hurd and others killed in cold blood in Charleston, South Carolina, and Sandra Bland, found dead in a jail cell in Texas. As I’ve tried to make sense of these events, the only thing that I’ve been able to hold on to is God.  Read more →

 
 © Getty Images 2015

© Getty Images 2015

Why It Matters That Serena Williams Keeps Winning
Black girls winning—and loving themselves while doing it—is a revolutionary act.

I was 11, a year older than Serena Williams, when her father predicted that she and her sister Venus would dominate tennis for the next quarter century. Back then, the world marveled at his audacity (black girls from Compton winning at this lily-white sport?) and at all the beads they wore in their braids. Now, more than 20 years later and with 40 Grand Slam titles between the Williams sisters, Richard Williams's dreams for his girls have been realized. Read more →

 
 © Bloom Literary 2015

© Bloom Literary 2015

Award-winning short story, "Ladies."

“'Ladies' is a wonder of a story. It effortlessly bridges countries and generations, time frames and points of view. Featuring rich, precise language and beautiful imagery, it touches on themes of colonialism, gender, and social mobility. But ultimately it’s a love story, and what a romance it is—full of humor and heart, longing and loss, with an ending that’s both redemptive and heartbreaking.” —Nina Revoyr, 2011 fiction judge
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The Banal and the Profane: A. Naomi Jackson

“The Banal and the Profane” is a monthly Lambda Literary column in which we lift the veil on both the writerly life and the publishing industry. In each installment, we ask a different LGBT writer, or LGBT person of interest in the book industry, to guide us through a week in their lives. This month’s  “Banal and Profane” column comes to us from writer A. Naomi Jackson.  Read more →

 

 

"The Perfect Covergirl" essay for LitHub

I’d been watching the girl in the painting that hung above my desk for a few months before I became obsessed with the idea of her appearing on my book cover. “Too Much Makeup” by Barbadian artist Sheena Rose could be an illustration of one of the characters from my novel, The Star Side of Bird Hill; specifically, sixteen-year-old Dionne Braithwaite, who has been shuttled off by her ailing mother to Barbados with her ten-year-old sister Phaedra in tow. The second paragraph of the novel describes Dionne, and the way that makeup affords Dionne both a form of armor and a connection to the life she’s left behind in Brooklyn. Read more →