A young Swedish journalist has settled in Jamaica and created a life for herself there. The nameless protagonist has passed the point of being just a tourist, but is very aware she will never be one of the locals. What sets her apart from her neighbors is the freedom that comes in the shape of a passport, and the ability it gives her to go wherever she wants whenever she wants. She struggles to find her place and is torn between what it means to be entitled and to be free.
The dramatic relationship with her boyfriend Ganzie is put to the test when infatuation becomes replaced by irritation, irritation she’s ashamed of and doesn’t really want to admit – least of all to her best friend Grace. But she is tired of paying the bills, tired of the fact that he is a good-for-nothing who lives off her.
In parallel narratives, we are given the perspectives of tourists arriving in Jamaica, their wallets full of US-dollars and bags packed with hopes of an escape to paradise – hopes that are not always fulfilled as the stark reality of life in Jamaica shatters their idealized and historically naïve views.
Through the lens of her camera, our protagonist recounts the stories of people living in the shadow of the tourism that has taken a hold of the island. Filling their stories with historical context, she paints an honest picture of Jamaica: of the rich tourists in search of a holiday romance, of reggae, go-go-girls, and gangsters.
At its heart, More Fire is about looking and seeing, and the narrative forces the reader to shift perspective like a rude awakening. In this debut novel by Karolina Ramqvist, the formation of a country and the consequences thereof is forcefully told in a vibrant and eye-opening narrative that questions what tourism means, and who ultimately pays the price.
“More Fire is taut and filled to the brim: there is not a single sentence without substance.”
Vestmanlands Läns Tidning (SE)
“Ramqvist has a power of observation that is out of the ordinary, and she delivers without pointing fingers, without analyzing and explaining what is right and wrong.”
Borås Tidning (SE)
“What is most remarkable is that a twenty-six year-old Swedish writer is able to conjure a completely un-self-involved first person narrator who is at least half journalist and public educator.”
Dagens Nyheter (SE)
“A kick in the balls of the Western world.”
“When Ramqvist takes a swing at the Western world, delivered in rock-solid facts, it makes our bad conscience burn.”
Helsingborgs Dagblad (SE)