Marcia Douglas’s novel, The Marvellous Equations of the Dread, will be published by New Directions in July 2018. She is also author of Notes From a Writer’s Book of Cures and Spells, and Madam Fate, as well as a poetry collection, Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. (April 2018)


Becoming the Brown Girl in the Ring

Girl Scouts, Kingston, Jamaica, 1983

I grew up with the sense that true-home was always elsewhere. I was born in the United Kingdom to Jamaican immigrants; our family returned to Jamaica when I was six; and I immigrated to the US after high school. My parents told stories of Jamaica—a place where life was tough, but often, or so it seemed to me, speckled with marvels and otherworldliness. Somewhere between their stories was the unspoken sense that they had left behind something noteworthy and important—and, to my ears, fabulist.