TORONTO, Canada -- Reggae music is striking a different note with the publication of a new novel by acclaimed Jamaican-born and Toronto-based author Horane Smith. His fifth novel Reggae Silver has been released. Bob Marley, Reggae’s most familiar face, has been credited for taking Jamaican music from the slums of west Kingston, to stages on all continents during the 1970s. Today, the music transcends many cultures, races, and ethnic groups.
Now, Horane Smith is taking the story of a young reggae singer to the world through the publication of Reggae Silver, which is set in Jamaica and New York.
“I’m pleased to be taking this precious invisible export of Jamaica to the world, not through vocals or musical instruments, but through literature,” Smith said from his Toronto home, where he lives. “Here’s a superb story that you don’t often get to read that will appeal to just about everyone.”
“Ever since Michael Thelwell’s novel The Harder They Come became the cult classic film starring another superstar Jimmy Cliff, the need for more novels with reggae themes has always existed,” he said. “Reggae Silver will help to fill this vacuum.”
Captured with all the color, glamour, sights and sounds of Jamaica’s indigenous music industry, Reggae Silver has been described as “an exceptional piece of work,” by Kevin O’Brien Chang, author of Reggae Routes, the Story of Jamaican Music.
Multiple-award-winning Jamaican writer, Ian Boyne, in his foreword, said “the universal themes of literature are artfully combined with the unique rhythm of Jamaican cultural and social life, which guarantees to make this novel a treasure among the artistically discriminating.”
The novel is Smith’s first work of contemporary fiction. His four other novels are all historical fiction, the latest The Lynching Stream, about lynchings in America, was released last summer. The first, Lover’s Leap: Based on the Jamaican Legend, was published to international acclaim in 1999.
Reggae Silver tells the story of a young Jamaican singer, who moved to New York to study and seek his musical fortunes. Imprisoned innocently and faced with deportation, the singer must prove he was guiltless, find his missing girlfriend, deal with an unscrupulous music producer and bring the true culprits to justice. Most of all, he wanted to fulfill his mother’s wish – to become a reggae superstar.
“Readers will love this reggae singer. He’s talented, very persistent, and has a story that will keep you turning the pages,” Smith said confidently. “It’s a page turner,” he added.
A Jamaican launch and public readings will be held this summer. Overseas launches are set for Canada and the United States.
The novel is published by Bedside Books, an imprint of American Book Publishers.