Jamaica’s Rich Literary Legacy Is Finally Getting Global Recognition (by Isis Semaj-Hall)

When it comes to Jamaica's cultural legacy, music looms large, but the island also possesses a rich literary history that spans generations, and is now reaching an international audience.

The lagoonside villa at GoldenEye, the Oracabessa property where Ian Fleming penned his James Bond novels. | Credit: Jeremy Francis

When I think of some of Jamaica's historic literary figures—people like Claude McKay, the poet who found success during the Harlem Renaissance; Louise Bennett-Coverley, the folklorist affectionately called Miss Lou who became known for her use of Jamaican patois in the 1960s and 70s; or Ian Fleming, the Englishman who wrote all 14 of his James Bond books from his home in Oracabessa—I wonder if they could have ever imagined a time like this. I wonder if they could have imagined that readers from around the world would come to the island to celebrate Jamaican literature in all its forms.