U-M Department of English
U-M English Home

People

Faculty Recent Publications

Recent Publication Information for Lorna Goodison

TITLE

From Harvey River: A Memoir of my Mother and her People

AUTHOR

Lorna Goodison
Faculty Info

MORE INFO

“Throughout her life my mother, Doris, lived in two places at once: Kingston, Jamaica, where she raised a family of nine children, and Harvey River, in the parish of Hanover, where she was born and grew up.”

When Doris Harvey’s English grandfather, William Harvey, discovers a clearing at the end of a path cut by the feet of those running from slavery, he gives his name to what will become his family’s home for generations. For Doris, Harvey River is the place she always called home, the place where she was one of the “fabulous Harvey girls,” and where the rich local bounty of Lucea yams, pimentos, and mangoes went hand in hand with the Victorian niceties of her parents’ house. It is a place she will return to in dreams when her fortunes change, years later, and she and her husband, Marcus Goodison, relocate to “hard life” Kingston and encounter the harsh realities of urban living in close quarters.

In Lorna Goodison’s spellbinding memoir of her forebears, we meet a cast of wonderfully drawn characters, including George O’Brian Wilson, the Irish patriarch of the family who married a Guinea woman after coming to Jamaica in the mid-1800s; Doris’s parents, Margaret and David, childhood sweethearts who became the first family of Harvey River; and their eight children, Cleodine, straight-backed and imperious; serious Albertha, called “Miss Jo” because she was missing all sense of joviality; beautiful Howard, who dies an early death; Rose, whose loveliness inspires devotion but whose own heart is never fulfilled; taxi-man Edmund, who yearns for the freedoms of the big city; Flavius, who spends his life searching for the true church of God; large-hearted, practical-minded Doris, whose bottomless cooking pot often feeds more than just her family; and vivacious, hard-headed Ann, whose gift of reading hair tells her the future.

In lush, vivid prose, textured with the cadences of Creole speech, Lorna Goodison weaves together memory and mythology to create a vivid tapestry. She takes us deep into the heart of a complete world to tell a universal story of family and the ties that bind us to the place we call home.

All recent publications by Lorna Goodison

  • Supplying Salt and Light: Poems
  • From Harvey River: A Memoir of my Mother and her People
  • Goldengrove: New and Selected Poems
  • Controlling the Silver
  • Fool Fool Rose <br>Is Leaving<br>Labour-in-Vain-Savannah

All publications by Lorna Goodison

Poetry: Tamarind Season, Kingston, Jamaica: Institute of Jamaica (1980); I Am Becoming My Mother, London: New Beacon (1986); Heartease, London: New Beacon (1988); Poems: Lorna Goodson. New York: Research Institute for the Study of Man/CommonWealth of Letters (Yale University), 1989, 1995; Selected Poems, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press (1992); Jungfernbraun, Lorna Goodison, Gedichte, trans Wolfgang Binder(Wuppertal: Peter Hammer Verlag, 1994); To Us, All Flowers Are Roses. Chicago: University of Illinois Press (1995); Turn Thanks. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1999; Guinea Woman: New and Selected Poems. Manchester: Carcanet Press (2000); Travelling Mercies (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2001; A Quartet of Poets: Alice Walker, Lorna Goodison, Maya Angelous, Grace Nichols (Modern Women Writers Series). London: Longman (1994) Prose Fiction: Baby Mother and the King of Swords: Short Stories (London: Longman, 1990); Der Schwertkonig, Lorna Goodison, Der Kurzgeschicten aus Jamaica, translated by Wolfgang Binder (Frankfurt: Dipa Verlag, 1992); A Quartet of Stories: Maya Angelous, Lorna Goodison, Olive Senior, Alice Walker (Modern Women Writers Series). London: Longman, 1993.

Dept. of English Language and Literature

home mission statement sitemap contact

U-M English on Facebook
U-M English on Facebook
U-M English on iTunes U
U-M English on YouTube

435 S. State Street, 3187 Angell Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
Phone: (734) 764-6330 Fax: (734) 763-3128