Jacqueline Crooks: Fire Rush
‘I was blown away by Fire Rush … Mesmerising, imaginative and incantatory’
Bernardine Evaristo, Booker Prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other
Yamaye lives for the weekend, when she can go raving with her friends at The Crypt, an underground club in the industrial town on the outskirts of London where she was born and raised. A young woman unsure of her future, the sound is her guide – a chance to discover who she really is in the rhythms of those smoke-filled nights. In the dance-hall darkness, dub is the music of her soul, her friendships, her ancestry.
But everything changes when she meets Moose, the man she falls deeply in love with, and who offers her the chance of freedom and escape.
When their relationship is brutally cut short, Yamaye goes on a dramatic journey of transformation that takes her first to Bristol – where she is caught up in a criminal gang and the police riots sweeping the country – and then to Jamaica, where past and present collide with explosive consequences.
Jacqueline Crooks grew up in 1970s and ’80s Southall, part of London’s migrant community carving out a space through music, culture and politics. Immersed in the gang underworld as a young woman, she later discovered the power of writing and music to help her look outwards and engage differently with the world – a power that has driven her ever since, from her work with charities to her short stories, which have been nominated for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, the Wasafiri New Writing Prize and the BBC National Short Story Award.