Award-winning Jamaican-born Canadian author Horane Smith returns to the genre that he’s best known for in his eighth novel, Marooned in Nova Scotia, A Story of the Jamaican Maroons in Canada.
More than 500 Maroons from Trelawny Town were deported to Nova Scotia in 1796 by the then Governor of Jamaica, the Earl of Balcarres, following many months of unrest.
The Toronto-based Smith, best known for the historical fiction novels, Lover’s Leap: Based on the Jamaican Legend, and it’s sequel, Dawn at Lover’s Leap, a finalist in the 2006 USA Booknews Bestbook Award, tells the story of one young warrior’s quest to take the deported Maroons back to Jamaica because of the harsh winters in British North America (now Canada) and the challenges adjusting to a new way of life.
The story chronicles the surrender of the Maroons to the British Militia, their subsequent deportation and ultimate settlement in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Maroons, who were never at home in Nova Scotia, were instrumental in constructing the Citadel, a major fortification against any possible threat from France back then. Today, it’s a very important historical landmark in the city of Halifax.
“Although this is a work of fiction, it tries to capture some of the images, feel and circumstances that confronted this resilient group of people, known for their courage, tenacity and loyalty to remain free,” Smith said.
“They were among the first Black people to arrive in Canada, the loyalists of Virginia being the first, and this is an important part of Jamaica’s history that to my surprise some have never even heard of before. That makes this work of significance both to Canada and Jamaica.”
Smith launched the novel in Toronto recently, and will do several readings in Canada, especially during Black History Month.
“It’s written in the usual gripping style and adds to my efforts to continue to flush out Jamaican stories that have been left, for the most part, untouched or long forgotten in the literary context,” he said.
Smith was the first recipient of the BURLA Award for Outstanding Contribution to African-Canadian and Caribbean Literature. He has also been recognized by the Jamaica-Canada Diaspora Foundation for his contribution to Jamaican literature.
He has written stories on slavery legends, Jamaican pirates, reggae music, Jamaican adventure travel, the Underground Railroad and lynchings in America. His other novels are Port Royal, Reggae Silver, Seven Days in Jamaica, The Lynching Stream and Underground to Freedom.
Order a copy of Marooned in Nova Scotia, A Story of the Jamaican Maroons in Canada or any one of Smith’s other works at www.horanesmith.com. While there, view some of his paintings which can also be purchased.