Tue | Mar 20, 2018

Jamaican novel going for heavy pounds online

Published:Sunday | October 5, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Beverley Carey

Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer

Validation! That's the word Beverley Carey used to describe the most recent success of one of her greatest works - The Maroon Story.

Met with heavy rejection from the local sphere, Carey's book, originally launched in 1997, has been added to the United Kingdom's Amazon website collector's items list. This means that the book is considered by the online website as a one-of-a-kind piece, a work worth selling for thousands of pounds.

Today, a physical copy of the book may be difficult to obtain as physical copies are quickly being sold out, hence the hefty price tag attached to Amazon's copy of the book. Currently, the book is being auctioned on the website for £2,499.50. That is equivalent to approximately $300,000 Jamaican dollars. She described the recognition as "a considerable achievement for a Jamaican publication".

Though Carey is not set to benefit largely from the lump sum the book is being auctioned for online, she is content that the book is finally being recognised for what it is. Considering the negativity it was met with when it was first released, Carey is excited about the book's recent achievements. "This is validation of my life's work," said Carey. "Now the book is being accepted, but initially, it was rejected by many people." In spite of the obstacles, Carey maintains that her struggles are paying off and explains that her life works are her contributions to Jamaica as well as her legacy.


Carey believes that the book's recent success is due in part to another author, who used her book as inspiration for her own. "I think Barbara Blake Hannah's book has a lot to do with The Maroon Story success," she explained. "The book inspired her to write a fictional account of the Maroons titled fictional The Moon Has its Secrets, which she dedicated to me and the book, The Maroon Story." She said the fictional account of her work, by Blake-Hannah, has made more persons aware of The Maroon Story, and she is grateful. "I don't know of many authors who would dedicate their book to another author, yet alone another author's work, so it is testament to the book's abilities."

The Maroon Story chronicles the tale of Jamaica's indigenous people's escape from slavery, resulting in the establishment of Maroon communities. It takes an in-depth look at the life of Maroons told by a descendant.

Carey is currently putting the finishing touches to a new piece highlighting Nanny Town and the parish of Portland and will show how the need to strive for personal freedom is at the heart of Maroon ideology. It is expected to be released early next year.