Frying Plantain, Zalika Reid-Benta

Frying Plantain, Zalika Reid-Benta

⏱️ < 1 min

A new format, under the « Books Portraits » category, as we strive for more Caribbean books! Little reading notes which I hope will serve as an incentive. Feel free to share your thoughts once you read the book, or if you already have.

I must confess: this is the title which made me hungry for more (and reading by the way). Frying Plantain is a collection of short stories.

The latter tell the protagonist Kara’s evolution, a Jamaican born in Canada, Toronto. As a child of immigrants, a Black girl and growing up in a double culture, her experience is definitely challenging. The different short stories center around the complexity of family relationships, intergenerational gaps, the main character’s anxiety and under pressure. Kara – as the rest of her family – struggles with expressing her emotions. Food works as an expression of love.

It’s an amazing reading. I admit I wanted more, though. It ends abruptly, but it may be the point of such stories. I loved traveling through the dialogues, often punctuated with Jamaican patwa.

This is the Toronto-based Jamaican writer Zalika Reid-Benta’s debut. Frying Plantain is not an autobiographical piece. To learn more and dig deeper into the author’s work, read her interview, just here.

So, did you know the book?

Yasmina VICTOR-BIHARY