Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta
In her brilliantly incisive debut, Zalika Reid-Benta artfully depicts the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation immigrants and first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity and predominately white society.
Kara Davis is a girl caught in the middle - of her Canadian nationality and her desire to be a 'true' Jamaican, of her mother and grandmother's rages and life lessons, of having to avoid being thought of as too 'faas' or too 'quiet' or too 'bold' or too 'soft'. Set in Toronto's 'Little Jamaica', Kara moves from girlhood to the threshold of adulthood, from elementary school to high school graduation, in these twelve interconnected stories. A rich and unforgettable portrait of growing up between worlds, Frying Plantain shows how, in one charged moment, friendship and love can turn to enmity and hate, well-meaning protection can become control, and teasing play can turn to something much darker.