2015 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Finalist

Mordecai Red Jacket

Pamela Mordecai
Red Jacket
TAP Books


Pamela Mordecai

Jury Citation  

Pamela Mordecai’s Red Jacket is a richly rewarding reading experience, a lyrical nod to the impossibility, and even wrongness, of reducing lives to chronology or to one or two crystalizing moments. Myriad points of view, a variety of englishes, and a wise and smartly handled fractured timeline are mined to unearth the powerful story of Grace Carpenter and to gather up and pay homage to the village that constitutes her community, at home and abroad. This book is more than a heartbreaking, beautiful story; it is also a bawdy meditation on storytelling and the art of writing.

About the Book

Growing up on the Caribbean island of St. Christopher in the late 1960s, Grace Carpenter wonders how it is that her extended family is black, while she has copper coloured skin, red hair, and grey eyes. Unkind people taunt her with names like “red jacket” Pamela Mordecai interweaves Grace's narrative with the personal histories of the mother who gave her up but never forgot her, and Jimmy Atule, a Jesuit whom she meets through her work fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in West Africa. With his help, Grace completes her difficult journey away from the security of her loving home to find a place for herself in the wider world and confront the truth about her birth and the mystery of her true identity.

About the Author

Pamela Mordecai has published five collections of poetry and an anthology of short fiction. Red Jacket is her debut novel. Her poems have been shortlisted for the Canada Writes CBC Poetry Prize and the Bridport Prize. She is the recipient of the Institute of Jamaica’s Centenary and Bronze Musgrave Medals. Born in Jamaica, Mordecai lives in Kitchener, Ontario.




Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


July 18 for books published between May 16 and Sept 30, 2018


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