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Frying Plantain

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Digital (deliver electronic) / ISBN-13: 9780349701523

Price: £9.99

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‘An unforgettable debut’ Paul Beatty, Booker Prize-winning author of The Sellout

‘Incisive and sharp’ Refinery29

Kara Davis is a girl caught in the middle – of her Canadian nationality and her desire to be a ‘true’ Jamaican, of her mother and grandmother’s rages and life lessons, of having to avoid being thought of as too ‘faas’ or too ‘quiet’ or too ‘bold’ or too ‘soft’.

Set in Little Jamaica, Toronto’s Eglinton West neighbourhood, Kara moves from girlhood to the threshold of adulthood, from elementary school to high school graduation, in these twelve interconnected stories. We see her on a visit to Jamaica, startled by the sight of a severed pig’s head in her great aunt’s freezer; in junior high, the victim of a devastating prank by her closest friends; and as a teenager in and out of her grandmother’s house, trying to cope with the ongoing battles between her unyielding grandparents.

A rich and unforgettable portrait of growing up between worlds, Frying Plantain shows how, in one charged moment, friendship and love can turn to enmity and hate, well-meaning protection can become control, and teasing play can turn to something much darker. In her brilliantly incisive debut, Zalika Reid-Benta artfully depicts the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation Canadians and first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity and predominately white society.

Zalika Reid-Benta announces herself as an enormous voice for the coming decade (and one that is desperately needed)’ Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story


An incisive and sharp must-read coming-of-age story
A debut novel from a writer to watch
NOW Magazine
A show-stopping debut collection, delving into family pressures and control, experiences of identity in immigrant families, and life as a young Black woman in Toronto
Open Book (Canada)
This is the book I've been waiting to read my entire life on the diasporic Caribbean experience. The writing is sharp, intelligent and everything you'd expect from a talented Jamaican writer. I honestly love this book
Symeon Brown
Frying Plantain is every bit as delicious as the title suggests
Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie
An outstanding debut
Tackling big issues including race, class, and identity, these interlinked stories share a strong emphasis on the intergenerational relationships - and pressures - many can feel. Zalika's debut novel really is set to be a modern classic
Reid-Banks' beautifully written debut follows Kara Davis as she makes her way in Toronto's Little Jamaica
The i
A great debut