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She's Gone (Macmillan Caribbean Writers) Paperback – 30 May 2008

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"In this book, Dawes captures Jamaica perfectly: the sights, sounds, colours, inequalities and lifestyle..." --The Vine<br /><br />"In summary, it all sounds simple enough, but the detailed intricacy of the plot and Dawes' sheer writing skill make it anything but ... She's Gone is a human tale, with all the attendant foibles, much like a song that is never the same as it was recorded in the studio. It may be better, it may be worse. In this case it is better." --Mel Cook, The Sunday Gleaner

"She's Gone is dark and rich and sweet, like meat close to the bone. Dawes writes from the heart, with tears and laughter, and his work reads like blank verse ... In his first novel, She's Gone, he is scratching a riff to suit his mood." --Book Group Info (Recommended Read)

About the Author

Kwame Dawes is an award-winning Ghanian-born Jamaican author of several books of poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. He teaches at the University of South Carolina, where he is Distinguished Poet in Residence and director of the USC Arts Institute and the South Carolina Poetry Initiative. Dawes is the programmer for the annual Jamaican Calabash International Literary Festival.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Books Do Sometimes Have Flaws 9 Sept. 2007
By MVD - Published on
Format: Paperback
This was a great read, it kept me turning pages and really caught up, like it was really true. However, there were instances where the descriptions of places were overly done and the weeks of conversation with various family members was over done and seemed a bit unrealistic. I was impressed with the relationship with Troy and how the storyline led you to believe Keisha would return to him and at the last minute she did not fall to sexual desires and follow through with an intimate encounter with him particularly when she could see he was the same person he used to be. I think this was very realistic but she somehow was able to do what was best for her. Eventhough, she was not entirely pleased with the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy she did feel a sense of being victorious over that situation. I did not like the ending because I wanted more and wanted to know that Kofi got over his insecurities and was not just caught up in the moment. But to the author's credit, it does leave room for a sequel and I hope it would come with a happy ending. You know, Alma growing up in a way that Keisha would have liked for herself and a family bond for her that Kofi lacked because of his mother's ways. But I loved this book, overall. I do intend to read Wisteria by this author as well.
3.0 out of 5 stars She's Gone is the perfect title. 16 April 2014
By ROBIN FLOWERS - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a book club read; would I recommend it...not really.
It's a hard read when you don't like the main charcter's personality. She's Gone is the perfect title. Started off great; ended lack luster. However there are some paragrahps that generalize ethich groups within the book.
the sparked some heated dommentary at the meeting.
5.0 out of 5 stars When You're Alone...I'll Be There By Your Side Baby 17 July 2007
By Dera R Williams - Published on
Format: Paperback
There are some books that resonate with a reader long after the last page has been turned. That is the feeling I had when I finished She's Gone by Kwame Dawes. Dawes, a professor of English at the University of South Carolina Distinguished Poet in Residence, makes his fiction novel debut, a tale of boy meets girl, boy looses girl and boy follows girl but it so much more than that.

Kofi, a Jamaican reggae musician is on tour with his band, after a long absence. The self-proclaimed next Bob Marley is at his best, writing songs and thrilling audiences on their U. S. tour. Keisha, a social researcher, back home in Columbia, South Carolina after living in New York, comes to the club and is seduced by the music and the man. Kofi continues on tour and Keisha makes the bold move to come to one of his appearances in New York where the connection is undeniable. Keisha takes a chance and goes home to Kingston with Kofi--where all is revealed.

Jamaica proves to be a study in contrasts. There are the green mountains and poverty of Spanish Town, the violence on the streets of Kingston, and the elite Jamaican society of Ocho Rios. The class divisions, the colorism, the condescending manner of some Jamaicans toward Black Americans, all paint a picture of how these dynamics, while emphasizing differences, at the same time juxtapose the proximity of Kofi's Jamaica and Keisha's coastal Carolina home.

Love means taking the bad with the good; sometimes love means exposing demons and skeletons that lovers may want to keep in the closet. Do you stay and tough it out or do you cut your losses and run? Kofi and Keisha are both forced to explore the past in order to go forward with the future. Kofi's prolonged silences and his withdrawal from her cause Keisha to seek the reasons why while confronting her dark past. Both grew up without their mothers and have been damaged and marked by it. And both were raised by strong, formidable women, Kofi's aunt Josephine and Keisha's aunt Rose who protected them as well as enabled them.

Dawes, one of the founders of the Calabash Literary Festival, held annually in Jamaica, made an appearance, along with Colin Channer (also a Calabash co-founder), at Marcus Book Store in Oakland this past June. I was immediately drawn into his reading; part song, part poetry, with the cadence of the patois. The language of the prose is fluid, rhythmic and essentially dances off the page with a reggae beat. All while I was reading this novel, I played Sade's CD, Lover's Rock and the first song, "By My Side" stayed in my head continuously, long after I finished. Dawes takes readers on a timeless journey and sets you in a sense of place, whether it is in the swamps of South Carolina, the slums of Kingston, the upper middle-class hills of Ocho Rios or the night life of New York City. Kwame said this story bridges the Southern states and Jamaica, meshes the two cultures and ties them to the Diaspora. Keisha talked about collecting great moments of beauty and grace. This book was a great reading experience that leaves an indelible imprint in my collection of great moments, letting me know that wonderful books are still being written.

Dera Williams
APOOO BookClub
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Debut Novel I've Read in a Very Long Time... 6 Aug. 2007
By J. Belfield - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read a synopsis of this book in a magazine and thought I need to check it out since it was the only one that came highly recommended. It did not disappoint. A very good story. I look forward to more novels by this author. He won me over with the first chapter.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They're Gone...can they be found? 25 July 2007
By Angelia Menchan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr Dawes has written the best kind of love story. One filled with heart attraction and the complications that love brings. Kofi a successful reggae artist from Jamaica has fallen for Keisha, a social researcher from the American south. There is an immediate chemistry between the two and they feel they can foster a relationship. Keisha joins Kofi on the island and discovers a different world and a different man than the one she fell in love with. Kofi struggles with inner demons, while Keisha struggles with life on the island and her choices. This novel is rich with scenery and emotional angst. I recommend She's Gone to all readers who enjoy a beautifully written and well told story. Wonderful!

Angelia Menchan
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