Last night as I got ready to go to bed, I decided to look at the time and realized that it was 1:15 in the morning. It was hot and so drifting away into la-la land might have been an easy recourse, but I was so captivated by Marlon James’ Book of the Night Women, that when reading his book, time became invisible to me, and what was 11pm became 1:15 am. My droopy eyes were the ones that validated my need for slumber.
Book of the Night Women talks about slavery in the Caribbean, but the book cannot (and demands) not to be simplified by that one statement — it’s more. It’s about pain, hurt, loss and hope…of desire and oppression without rhyme or reason. If you thought you’ve read a comprehensive story about slavery or the remnants of it, you will think differently when you read this book.
It begs me to question how one can regard themselves human when they weren’t treated as such, and how one can call themselves human when they didn’t treat people as such.
Like the protagonist in the story, within me flows at the very least blood of Africa and Europe. I do not know completely how those two continents connected to begin the story of me, but when I read this book I understand the pain, and the anger that is often unspoken in my family, but felt.
“Thanks to the history I learned, and to the history I unlearned.” – Marlon James