Nominated by:

National Library Service of Barbados, Bridgetown

Publisher of nominated edition:

Peepal Tree Press, UK

The Repenters

Kevin Jared Hosein      

2018 Longlist

When the infant Jordon Sant is taken to the St Asteria Home for Children after the murder of his parents, he sets out on a journey that is a constant struggle between his best and worst selves. One relationship, with the young nun the children call Mouse, awakens the possibilities of love and hope, but when Mouse abandons her calling and leaves the home, the world thereafter becomes a darker place. Barely a teenager, he runs away from the home to scuffle for a living in the frightening underbelly of Port of Spain. There Jordon reaches the lower depths of both Trinidadian society and himself.

In Jordon Sant, Kevin Jared Hosein creates a narrator who gets under your skin. He takes us into the most dreadful places of human experience, confesses doing seemingly unforgivable things. But though Jordan knows how inescapable circumstance can be, he never denies responsibility for his actions. But can this Dostoyevskian figure save himself?

The Repenters takes us to places in Trinidad readers will not have been before. In Kevin Hosein the Caribbean announces a writer whose work is poetic, gothic, and deeply transgressive, whose creation of a voice for Jordon Sant is troubling, engrossing and not to be forgotten.

About the author

Kevin Jared Hosein currently resides in Trinidad and Tobago. He is the 2015 Caribbean regional winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for his entry, The King of Settlement 4. In 2013, he wrote and illustrated his first book, Littletown Secrets, which was named the best children’s book of 2013 by the Trinidad Guardian.

(from publisher)

Librarian’s comments

An opening that immediately captures the reader’s attention as the protagonist relates the horrific circumstances of his parents’ death,  circumstances which set the tone of the book and the path which his life follows from age two until young adulthood. Leaving the stereotypical happy go-lucky, carnival loving Trinidad behind, the story reveals a sinister underworld through which Jordan moves as he comes full circle back to the children’s home from which he fled. A fascinating read from a relatively new Caribbean writer.

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