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How to say Babylon : a memoir  Cover Image Book Book

How to say Babylon : a memoir / Safiya Sinclair.

Sinclair, Safiya, (author.).


"Throughout her childhood, Safiya Sinclair's father, a volatile reggae musician and militant adherent to a strict sect of Rastafari, became obsessed with her purity, in particular, with the threat of what Rastas call Babylon, the immoral and corrupting influences of the Western world outside their home. He worried that womanhood would make Safiya and her sisters morally weak and impure, and believed a woman's highest virtue was her obedience. In an effort to keep Babylon outside the gate, he forbade almost everything. In place of pants, the women in her family were made to wear long skirts and dresses to cover their arms and legs, head wraps to cover their hair, no make-up, no jewelry, no opinions, no friends. Safiya's mother, while loyal to her father, nonetheless gave Safiya and her siblings the gift of books, including poetry, to which Safiya latched on for dear life. And as Safiya watched her mother struggle voicelessly for years under housework and the rigidity of her father's beliefs, she increasingly used her education as a sharp tool with which to find her voice and break free. Inevitably, with her rebellion comes clashes with her father, whose rage and paranoia explodes in increasing violence. As Safiya's voice grows, lyrically and poetically, a collision course is set between them. How to Say Babylon is Sinclair's reckoning with the culture that initially nourished but ultimately sought to silence her; it is her reckoning with patriarchy and tradition, and the legacy of colonialism in Jamaica. Rich in lyricism and language only a poet could evoke, How to Say Babylon is both a universal story of a woman finding her own power and a unique glimpse into a rarefied world we may know how to name, Rastafari, but one we know little about" -- Publisher's description.

Item details

  • ISBN: 9781982132330
  • ISBN: 1982132337
  • Physical Description: x, 335 pages ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First 37Ink/Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: New York : 37Ink/Simon & Schuster, 2023.

Contents / Notes

General Note:
"Read with Jenna"--Jacket.
Formatted Contents Note:
Author's note -- Prologue -- Budgerigar -- The man who would be god -- Domain of the marvelous -- Fisherman's daughter -- Unclean women -- Bettah must come -- Revelations -- As the twig is bent -- Chicken merry hawk -- Hydra -- Age of wonder -- Moth in amber -- Medusa -- My Eurydice -- The red belt -- False idol -- Book of Esther -- Not Hollywood -- Through the fire -- Silver -- Lionheart -- Galatea -- Dance of Salome -- Leaving Sequestra -- Coven -- Jezebel -- Harbinger of Babylon -- Mermaid -- Daughter of Lilith -- The red door -- Iphigenia -- Jumbie bird -- I woman.
Subject: Sinclair, Safiya.
African American women authors > 21st century > Biography.
Women poets, American > Biography.
Women college teachers > United States > Biography.
Rastafarians > Biography.
Jamaicans > Biography.
Fathers and daughters.
Poétesses américaines > Biographies.
Professeures (Enseignement supérieur) > États-Unis > Biographies.
Jamaïquains > Biographies.
Pères et filles.
Écrivaines noires américaines > 21e siècle > Biographies.
Women > Biography.
Women poets > Biography.
Colleges and universities > Faculty > Biography.
Jamaicans > Biography.
Genre: Biography.
autobiographies (literary works)

Currently available copies

  • 31 out of 47 copies are currently available at PINES.


  • 2 current holds on 47 total copies.
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Library System: Library Branch Name
Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status  
Athens Regional Library System:
      Athens-Clarke County Library
31001006168133 NEW-BKS Available
Athens Regional Library System:
      Danielsville/Madison County Library
31001006213962 NEW-BKS Available
Athens Regional Library System:
      Winterville Library
NONFIC 818.6 SINCLAIR ( Send Text)
31001006193057 NONFICTION Available
Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System:
      Augusta-Richmond Co. Public Lib.
B Sinclair ( Send Text)
31019006153905 NEW-BKS Checked out
Azalea Regional Library System:
      Monroe-Walton County Library
31056009332169 ADULT In transit
Azalea Regional Library System:
      W. H. Stanton Memorial Library
31056009332854 ADULT Checked out
Chestatee Regional Library System:
      Dawson County Library
FIC SINCLAIR, Safiya ( Send Text)
31011007407794 FIC Checked out
Chestatee Regional Library System:
      Lumpkin County Library
FIC SINCLAIR, Safiya ( Send Text)
31011007407802 FIC Available
Clayton County Library System:
      Forest Park Branch
811 SINC ( Send Text)
31012007278326 BOOKS Available
Clayton County Library System:
      Headquarters Library
811 SINC ( Send Text)
31012007278334 BOOKS Available

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