Myal

Jamaican born novelist and sociologist Erna Brodber describes Myal as an exploration of the links between the way of life forged by the people of two points of the black diaspora the Afro Americans and the Afro Jamaicans Operating on many literary levels thematically, linguistically, stylistically it is the story of women s cultural and spiritual struggle in colonial JaJamaican born novelist and sociologist Erna Brodber describes Myal as an exploration of the links between the way of life forged by the people of two points of the black diaspora the Afro Americans and the Afro Jamaicans Operating on many literary levels thematically, linguistically, stylistically it is the story of women s cultural and spiritual struggle in colonial Jamaica The novel opens at the beginning of the 20th century with a community gathering to heal the mysterious illness of a young woman, Ella, who has returned to Jamaica after an unsuccessful marriage abroad The Afro Jamaican religion myal, which asserts that good has the power to conquer all, is invoked to heal Ella, who has been left zombified and devoid of any black soul Ella, who is light skinned enough to pass for white, has suffered a breakdown after her white American husband produced a black face minstrel show based on the stories of her village and childhood This cultural appropriation is one of a series Ella encountered in her life, and parallels the ongoing theft of the labor and culture of colonized peoples for imperial gain and pleasure The novel s rich, vivid language and vital characters earned it the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Canada and the Caribbean.
Myal Jamaican born novelist and sociologist Erna Brodber describes Myal as an exploration of the links between the way of life forged by the people of two points of the black diaspora the Afro Americans an

  • Title: Myal
  • Author: Erna Brodber
  • ISBN: 9780901241863
  • Page: 447
  • Format: Paperback
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    1 thought on “Myal”

    1. Myal isn't a book you just read. It's a bloody commitment. Yes, you'll look at it and think to yourself 'Oh hey, it's only a little over 100 pages. This will be a nice short read. Let's go!'Well, forget it. It's not a 'nice, short read'. It's also not a novel I would have read in my freetime. I spent hours on research while reading this novel, which is fine. I don't mind an engaging and challenging read. But it was frustrating at times because even with research I couldn't understand certain asp [...]

    2. Difficult book about Jamaican post-colonial identity negotiating white North American influences and exploitation within economic and social spheres. Zombification, otherwise known as soul stealing, is the suppression of local, native culture in order to replace with white, imperial culture. However, negotiation and countering is possible through narrative (story telling) and education.

    3. I finished this book for my Concepts of Culture class a month ago but haven't reviewed it because it is a very difficult text to discuss and to read. I wanted to wait until after a few lectures on the book so that I could better understand the story and give a fair review on the book.Myal centres on Ella O'Grady (Langley later in the story), a mixed girl (Jamaican mother and Irish father) living in Grove Town Jamaica. The story focuses on Ella's upbringing, how she is ridiculed in her town for h [...]

    4. A strange sort of tale, Myal challenges conceptions of 'post'colonial realities through the stories of Ella and Anita, two girls living in Grove Town, Jamaica. When they are both victims of spirit thievery (products of colonialism), it is only the revitalization and reinterpretation of myalism, a traditional Jamaican spiritual practice, that can exorcise the destructive forces. Brodber offers a hopeful outlook on the possibilities of reshaping tradition to fit contemporary reality, as a possible [...]

    5. I actually finished this a couple days ago but I forgot to update on here. This is a really complex and hard-to-read book the first time around. I would definitely say you have to reread this more than once to really understand the characters and storyline. But once you get through that and unearth what the author is trying to say, you fall in love with the writing and the complexity of it all. I will definitely reread this in the future and see what else I discover!

    6. Myal wasn't written for me, yet I read it. Brodber speaks to Jamaicans and doesn't give a rat's ass what outsiders to their culture think. This is her tribute to the strife and oppression experienced at the hands of spirit thieves. To be able to read this complex storyline in her difficult-to-understand writing gave me a small glimpse at Brodber's feelings on colonialism and exposed me to her narrative that I hope I understood to some degree."there are ways and ways of knowing"

    7. This is a gorgeous confusing poem of a book, but ultimately extremely rewarding if you invest the time and the energy. A knowledge of postcolonial theory would definitely help, as Brodber is dealing with a lot of really interesting issues pertaining to race, religion, colonialism, sexuality, genderally, its a feat that she addresses these issues so well in such a short text and with such eloquence.

    8. Recommended for anybody who thinks zombies are creatures getting up from a grave as in most of the American films. Tells what the zombies are really about. As a Nordic person all of this is a bit difficult to understand but the book is fascinating in any case.

    9. Without some postcolonial theory background, this can be a tricky read. With lots of postcolonial theory, Myal is poetic and beautiful, accomplishing as much as Homi Bhaba's work but in 100 pages.

    10. Beautiful writing. This is a book I will have to re-read. Many things were not clear to me the first time through, and for me this is not a bad thing.

    11. In this journey of two souls, the road forks with - Mrs Maydene Brassinton, [White Hen] wife of the Reverend at its pivot, of two religious and spiritual cultures.On the one hand there is a tale of skin colour and displacement. (So the children only saw her and more so when rain fall and wouldn't deal with her at all. The most they could do was scream out "Salt Pork","Alabaster Baby" Red Ants Abundance"when they saw her). An almost happily every after. [Wharf]ella, is found by a [fairy godmother [...]

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