By Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes's celebrated brief novel is a masterpiece of focused narrative. Its dreamlike motion starts off one of the decayed plantation homes and overwhelming common abundance of overdue nineteenth-century Jamaica, prior to relocating out onto the excessive seas, as Hughes tells the tale of a bunch of youngsters thrown upon the mercy of a group of down-at-the-heel pirates. A story of seduction and betrayal, of lodging and manipulation, of strange humor and unexpected violence, this vintage of twentieth-century literature is exceptionally a unprecedented reckoning with the key purposes and otherworldly realities of early life.
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Additional resources for A High Wind in Jamaica
MISS RITA This job took up most of my nights and threw me into a painful instability. A sort of savage reverie guided my hand, drove it to sudden movements, up and down, that grounded invariably in the regrouping of a part of the scene. My wrists and my fingers went along in a silent task that could only be a race with no finish line. The attraction, like the terror I had felt for her, was transformed into a hot pursuit where the line and the paper were the object, sequence after sequence, of a confused reconstruction that, for me, had to lead to a final image.
Each day she went over the space of the missing part of her life. The accident didn't matter much to her. However, she rarely made a fire. She simply put newspaper under her clothes. Surrounded her legs with it, 45 PALLAKSCH, PALLAKSCH her enormous legs. She never stopped this continuous monologue, turned towards the old bitch that followed her everywhere. Both seemed to be tormented by an incessant activity, their mouths constantly open; as soon as night fell, chewing, grinding, kneading food, gulping spectacular amounts of products, hour after hour where they were shut up.
And besides, no motive to justify the crime. In less than a week, the case will be closed. Tani is sleeping, soothed by the storm. She doesn't know the destiny that awaits her. Her plan will never see the light of day. Each week she'll go back to Mr. Slavia's. Sometimes she'll go as far as the creek to buy fish. No one will ever know who stoned to death and burned the man-horse. No one wants to know what the children from the projects do with the seagulls. 41 MISS RITA THEY CALLED her Rita. Like her bitch.