STAND-OUT AUTHOR: McWatt has been highly praised for her fiction by people as various as John Berger, Atom Egoyan and China Miéville, and won the 2018 Eccles British Library Award for the proposal that became this book.
BREAK-OUT BOOK: As powerful as Roxane Gay on body shaming, Ta-Nehisi Coates on enduring racism, and Zadie Smith on the writer’s freedom to imagine, McWatt steps out from behind her fiction to tell her own story, embedded in the history of the sugar trade, in the forces of colonialism and the insidiousness of white privilege.
ORIGINAL TRADE PAPER: A flapped edition designed to be immediate and affordable.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 OCM BOCAS PRIZE FOR CARIBBEAN LITERATURE
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 TORONTO BOOK AWARD
FINALIST FOR THE 2020 HILARY WESTON WRITERS’ TRUST PRIZE FOR NONFICTION
“This remarkable meditation on beautiful, human bodies formed by the violence of slavery and by colonial shame resists categorisation, even as it shows up the ways in which categories of race and identity are no more than empty methods of social control. Reading this book I felt a profound sense of relief: that someone as wise as Tessa McWatt had the compassion and courage to write it. A deeply moving, urgent and important book.” —Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young
“Heart-stopping and wise, exquisitely written, compellingly told, Shame On Me rises to a crescendo of such beauty and grace in its final chapter—a call to activism and resistance—that it left me breathless with the intensity of my own listening.” —Rebecca Stott, author of In the Days of Rain
“There have been many books about race and identity in recent years, but none quite like this one—part memoir, part essay, and partly a challenge to think beyond the current parameters of ‘identity.’ Told from the perspective of a writer whose own inheritance confounds established identities at every turn, it is a perceptive, poignant and deeply profound meditation on how the race-thinking of the plantation continues to structure our sense of ourselves.” —Anshuman Mondal, professor of Modern Literature at University of East Anglia
“Poignant, provocative, beautifully written, Tessa McWatt’s memoir, Shame on Me, is an important, original and deeply thoughtful book. McWatt asks the toughest, most searching of questions about race and belonging and offers answers that surprise and challenge us. I loved it.” —Jill Dawson, author of The Language of Birds
“A brave indictment, both passionate and reflective, of the category of race and the prison that identity can become.” —Lisa Appignanesi, author of Mad, Bad, Sad, Women and the Mind Doctors
“Shame on Me is one of the most moving and intellectually profound books of its kind. As an ‘anatomy,’ it operates with surgical precision upon the necrotic legacies of race, affirming kinship and solidarity against the ongoing violence of silence and denigration. Courageously intimate and beautifully written, it is everything I admire in Tessa McWatt.” —David Chariandy, award-winning author of Brother
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