Category: Fiction, General,

A Reason for Living

By: Julian Jingles


About the Book
It is the mid-1960s in Kingston, Jamaica, and the country is steeped in social, political, and economic inequities. Howard Baxter, the heir to a real estate empire, has no interest in seeking or managing wealth. Painting and deflowering Jamaican maidens are his passions. As he combs the streets looking for greater meaning in his pathetic life, it soon becomes apparent that Howard’s journey will not be easy. Bernaldo Lloyd, a member of the Baxter clan, is a medical student who is sensitive to the hopelessness of the Jamaican masses. Inspired by his close friend and Howard’s cousin, Ras Robin Pone, and their ties with the Rastafari movement that calls for social and economic equity, Bernaldo is determined to overthrow the corrupt government. As Howard, Bernaldo and Robin become influenced by The American Black Power and Civil Rights movements demanding equal rights for African Americans, the women in their lives both love and criticize them. But when revolution breaks out, Howard finally discovers a purpose for his twisted life that leads him in a direction he never anticipated. In this tale of love, passion, and self-discovery, three Jamaican men become caught up in a 1960s revolution that reveals injustices, oppression, and a purpose for one of them.

“On a literary canvas, author Julian Jingles has etched a tale of excess, greed, and
redemption. Here, art imitates life in a whirling cacophony of racy, edgy emotions.
Such is the daunting beauty of A Reason for Living.”
– Dr. Glenville Ashby, Sunday Gleaner Book Review

“The author, filmmaker, entrepreneur did not wile away five decades as a bystander
but may have calculatedly used the hiatus to toil in order to reveal a compelling novel
about the creative and volatile ‘60s in Jamaica.”
– Vinette K. Pryce, Caribbean Life

“Riveting, touching on micro and macro relationships of love, sex and politics, and the
search of Jamaicans for the essence of their existence, with many compelling scenes
and very touching, sensitive dialogues.”
– Dr. Basil Wilson, New York Carib News

“Love and sensuality surface on practically every page of the novel, and these moments
are most vividly captured when Howard beds his lovers. On these occasions, and on
several others, Jingles brings a cinematic quality to his writing, and there’s a colorful
radiance to the scenes, and you are delightfully ensnared in the amorous, orgasmic
-Herb Boyd, author of Black Detroit, Baldwin’s Harlem,
and several other books, The New York Amsterdam News

“A Reason for Living is a highly complex work that pits sense against sensibility.
Emotions surge, transforming men in unfathomable ways. And as love and revolution
march in lock-step, Jingles might well have earned a place among the region’s more
interesting writers.”
– Glenville Ashby, Kaieteur News”

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