top of page

The unforgettable debut novel about Black womanhood - 'FIRE RUSH' by Jacqueline Crooks

Discover FIRE RUSH by Jacqueline Crooks, *Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023* the unforgettable debut novel is about Black womanhood, love, loss, freedom, and dub reggae.

I wanted to explore the history of the Black sound revolution, its starting point. I wanted to privilege the female perspective in exploring this music because I rarely saw women represented in narratives about this world. Women were driving the fashion, the dance moves, they were DJing and toasting, marching against police violence. I wanted to draw attention to women’s role in the sound revolution.

I’ve drawn on Caribbean history to understand my personal experiences of being born in rural Jamaica and leaving when I was a baby, but still feeling the pull of the island as I grew up.

Jacqueline Crooks

Yamaye lives for the weekend, when she can go raving with her friends at The Crypt, an underground club in the industrial town on the outskirts of London where she was born and raised. A young woman unsure of her future, the sound is her guide - a chance to discover who she really is in the rhythms of those smoke-filled nights. In the dance-hall darkness, dub is the music of her soul, her friendships, her ancestry.

But everything changes when she meets Moose, the man she falls deeply in love with, and who offers her the chance of freedom and escape.

When their relationship is brutally cut short, Yamaye goes on a dramatic journey of transformation that takes her first to Bristol - where she is caught up in a criminal gang and the police riots sweeping the country - and then to Jamaica, where past and present collide with explosive consequences.

‘As a Black child and then young woman growing up in the 1970s, I experienced a lot of male violence and oppression both within my family and outside of it… I’ve used this anger as energy to write and explore Black women’s rage – my own and that of relatives and friends from that time.

Rage as rebellion and as a transformative energy.’

– Jacqueline Crooks

bottom of page