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The Mermaid of Black Conch: A Love Story: WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020 [9781845234577]

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'Monique Roffey is a unique talent and most daring and versatile of writers' - Bernardine Evaristo

March 1976: St Constance, a tiny Caribbean village on the island of Black Conch, at the start of the rainy season. A fisherman sings to himself in his pirogue, waiting for a catch but attracts a sea-dweller he doesn't expect. Aycayia, a beautiful young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid, has been swimming the Caribbean Sea for centuries. And she is entranced by this man David and his song.


Monique Roffey is an award-winning Trinidadian-born British writer. The Mermaid of Black Conch, is her most recent novel, published in April 2020 by Peepal Tree Press. She is a Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Writing School, at MMU, and a tutor online for The National Writers Centre. Her last novel, The Tryst, (Dodo Ink), 2017, was widely reviewed, and in 2014, House of Ashes, was shortlisted for both the Costa Fiction Award, 2015, and the OCM Bocas Award for Fiction, 2015. Archipelago, published in 2012, a New World odyssey which examines loss, grief and climate change, won the OCM BOCAS prize for Caribbean Literature in 2013. The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, first published in 2009, received widespread critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize 2010 and the Encore prize 2011. It was heralded as a major contribution to the New Generation of Caribbean fiction coming out of the region. Her erotic memoir, With the Kisses of his Mouth was published to much praise and controversy in the summer of 2011. Her website is:

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Monique Roffey
Peepal Tree Press Ltd
800 Grams
  • 5
    The Mermaid of Black Conch

    Posted by Janet Weeks on 22nd Jun 2021

    This is an extraordinary book, I loved it and was sad when I finished it. It is so well written that the images and characters sprang fully formed off the page and haunted my thoughts and sleep so much that I had to read the book during the day. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  • 4
    Mermaid of Black Conch

    Posted by Colfi on 4th May 2021

    An old story with a modern twist. The book is written nicely and the details about the life and people on a Caribbean island in the '70s add an original touch to the usual 'mermaid meets a man and they fall in love' storyline. The characters are built nicely and the intricacies of the human/half-human soul are caught in a multi-faceted manner which makes you ponder our life on Earth. While at the heart of the story we have a short-lived relationship, the overall narrative actually builds and touches on big topics such as immortality, loneliness, love, loss, betrayal, and greed. It is a story brought from the midst of time to our modern times and it proves, once more that universal truths like the ones we find here even if retold again, and again through ages and different cultures touch a chord in us and stay fresh forever.

  • 5
    Mermaid of black conch

    Posted by Niky on 14th Feb 2021

    What a wonderful book.... a proper story that takes you in and is so lyrical in the way it's written! You fall in love with the characters and you feel empathy for 'The mermaid' .... I highly recommend this book and I would read it again just to getting 'that' feeling back!...

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