The story of the author's struggle to break free of her rigid Rastafarian upbringing, ruled by her father's strict patriarchal views and repressive control of her childhood, to find her own voice as a woman and poet.
Breathless, scorching ... A gripping tale of fundamentalism and the light of rebellion piercing through its cracks. Critiques of colonial and patriarchal violence weave throughout, made all the more scathing by Sinclair’s patient understatement ... While the memoir’s conclusion explodes with urgency, it lacks Sinclair’s slow-brewed sagacity. History catches up with her, and not enough years have passed for wisdom to surface. I was startled by the finale — was all her searing testimony in service of Djani’s redemption? I had to put the book down, walk away. With a bit of distance, I came to feel that the center of this book was its matriarch ... Sinclair can craft a luscious sentence.
Lushly observed and keenly reflective ... I read How to Say Babylon with particular interest, unsure I would recognize my homeland in what she captures. Yet the spark of recognition burned in every chapter. That is a testament to a distinctive national character, but even more to Sinclair’s kaleidoscopic writing. I’ve never learned more from a book about my native country ... [A] brilliant memoir ... The book grabs the reader because of the beauty of its words, but it sticks because of the thorniness and complexity of its ideas ... Unrelenting and incisive.