JM | May 7, 2022

Jamaican Aniska Christie pens first YA fiction ‘Jubilee’

Juanique Tennant

Juanique Tennant / Our Today

Young Jamaican Aniska Christie pens first Young Adult Fiction set for release this year

Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, Jamaican author Aniska Christie has penned a young adult (YA) fiction novel, providing an insider look at Jamaica’s COVID-19 experience through the eyes of 12-year-old Marie.

Jubilee, as the book has been titled, follows the life of young Jamaican, Marie, whose life has been forever changed owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Jamaica.

Throughout the 12 chapter novella, thematic issues such as health, religion, racism and self-identity take centre stage.

Describing her inspiration to pen the novel as a sign from God, Christie in an interview with Our Today explained: “I was listening to a song by Maverick City, the name of the song is Jubilee so that’s where the name of the book came from.”

Cover of Aniska Christie’s soon to be released young adult novella Jubilee

She added: “I was listening to the song over and over and I heard the name in my head, had a dream, researched it when I woke up, and interestingly I found out that Jubilee is something that is celebrated in Jewish culture and every seventh year they pause for a break and its like a renewal where they don’t do anything but rest. Also, I found out that the next year of Jubilee would be 2021 when I got the inspiration to write the book, so I found motivation in that and I wrote.”

While the book is written from a child’s perspective, the 20-year-old soon-to-be author informed: “The book’s ideal audience is anyone between the ages of 12-30 and this is because as much as it is written from a 12-year-old’s perspective there are a lot of themes that are brought out that are necessary for development in your teenage years, reflection in your young adult years and even just for leisure in your adult years.”

Asked why she felt a book of this nature would be a welcome addition to the wide array of young adult fictions already in existence, the University of the West Indies student stated: “One of the reasons I am so motivated to let everybody read this is because I want people to remember what happened in 2020 and 2021.”

Aniska Christie pens her first young adult novella ‘Jubilee’

“I want people to think, when I want to tell my kids or grandkids about this, I’ll pick up this book and I’ll show them, these are the things that were happening. There were many highlights of 2020 and 2021 and I don’t want to ever forget them,” added Christie.

She noted that one of her ultimate goals for the book’s success is that it will be added to the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) English Literature syllabus.

Jubilee is set for paperback release at the end of this month, however, you can pre-order the book by clicking the link here.