Nominated by:

The Seattle Public Library, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Riverhead Books, USA

Land of Love and Drowning

Tiphanie Yanique    

2016 Longlist

In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half brother, now faced with an uncertain identity and future. Each of them is unusually beautiful, and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them.

Chronicling three generations of an island family from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning is a novel of love and magic, set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world. Uniquely imagined, with echoes of Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, and the author’s own Caribbean family history, the story is told in a language and rhythm that evoke an entire world and way of life and love. It follows the Bradshaw family through sixty years of fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, love affairs, curses, magical gifts, loyalties, births, deaths, and triumphs.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Tiphanie Yanique is from Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands. The author of the novel Land of Love and Drowning and the story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony, she is a 2010 Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award winner and was named by the National Book Awards as one of 2011’s “5 Under 35.”  She teaches at the New School and lives in Brooklyn and Saint Thomas.

Librarian’s Comments

Yanique’s novel of music, madness and magic traces the history of the U.S. Virgin Islands – and its relationships with the mainland – through the journeys of one family. Lyrically written and mesmerizing.

Related Entries