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About the Author

Michelle Cliff was born in Jamaica and is the author of three acclaimed novels: Abeng, its sequel, No Telephone to Heaven, and Free Enterprise (Plume). She has also written a collection of short stories, Bodies of Water (Plume), and two poetry collections, The Land of Look Behind and Claiming an Identity They Tought Me to Despise. She is Allan K. Smith Professor of English Language and Literature at Trinity College in Connecticut and divides her time between Hartford, Connecticut, and Santa Cruz, California.


Powerful and often lyric ... an important work.
--Library JournalThe beauty and authority of her writing are coupled with profound insight.
--Toni MorrisonHer keen eye for detail and pithy anecdotal descriptions bring Jamaica's present and past to life.
New York Times Book ReviewJamaican history, lore, and lanscape are evocatively re-created in this multilayered novel. Through its richness and diversity of detail, Abeng achieves a timeless universality.
--Publisher's WeeklyAbeng is a solid achievement, a book that offers a wealth of history and culture. ... [Cliff's] perception of character, her receptivity to sensuous detail, her rendering of the language, make our journey ... a richly textured experience.

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