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Reggae Silver (review) – “Smith masterfully pilots this landscape…

Celebrations abound for Horane Smith, the esteemed writer and former news editor of the now-defunct Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC). Smith recently received recognition through nomination as a Finalist in the prestigious US Booknews Best Book Awards for his outstanding contribution to Historical Fiction.

With an impressive repertoire of 14 published books under his belt, Smith stands on the brink of releasing his 15th novel, later this year   “The Queen’s Plate,” through Baymar Publishers. His literary prowess has garnered praise from esteemed scholars, who commend his ability to breathe life into historical narratives, shedding light on obscured truths and forgotten tales.

Reflecting on his latest work, “Reggae Silver,” I found myself immersed in the gritty underworld of reggae music,  a realm often entangled with complexities, crime, and violence. Smith masterfully pilots this landscape, painting a vivid picture of the challenges faced by newcomers seeking success in an industry rife with corruption and exploitation. Through the protagonist’s journey, Smith highlights themes of forgiveness, redemption, and the enduring power of love and family amidst adversity.

While tempted by the allure of wealth and fame at the hands of top producers, I couldn’t help but empathise with the protagonist’s moral dilemma. Much like Smith’s exploration of the music industry’s underbelly, “Reggae Silver” serves as a poignant reminder of the moral choices we face and the triumph of integrity over temptation.

In hindsight, perhaps “Reggae Gold” would have been a more fitting title, symbolising the protagonist’s ascent from the depths of injustice to reclaim his rightful place in society through sheer talent and resilience.

As I embark on a journey to explore Smith’s literary body of work,  committing to devouring one book a month, I am reminded that this feat is no small undertaking. Each of Smith’s works promises to offer a unique perspective on history, culture, and the human experience, leaving an indelible mark on readers worldwide.


Lois Grant

Bark Di Trute with Vernon Darby

Lois Grant, JP, MA, BA (Hons), Dip Mass Comm, Cert. Broadcast Journalism BBC-London, is a powerhouse in the communications realm. Known for her groundbreaking achievements as  Co-founder of Innercity Promotions, she along with her former partner, revolutionised the branding of dance hall music. In the ’90s, Grant founded Corporate Image Communications and Productions, orchestrating innovative events for top brands like Tastee Limited, COK Credit Union and Jamaica National Building Society. Her influence extends to shaping political landscapes across three Caribbean islands, including Jamaica, where she served as Director of Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister (2007-2013). Though retired,, Grant continues to make waves as a consultant for esteemed entities like NBC Sports and as a travel influencer

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One of Horane Smith’s most popular novels, Lover’s Leap: Based on the Jamaican Legend is attracting international attention again. The novel, published to international acclaim in London, England in June 1999, is the subject of a major study that focuses on the enslaved African in Caribbean literature as it affects master-slave relationships.

The study “Fight, Love, and Flee, Cognitive Dissonance in Horane Smith’s Lover’s Leap,” has been published in Orbis Litterarum, an international journal devoted to the study of European and American literature. Concentrating on literary theory and the principles of literary history and criticism, Orbis Litterarum publishes articles of a theoretical nature and analyses of specific works genres periods.

The study’s author Noha F. Abdelmotagally is associate professor at the Department of English, Faculty of Al-Alsun (Languages), Ain Shams University, Cairo, where she teaches literature and research methodology. She is interested in comparative studies. She has published several articles, both in English and in Arabic, on literature and interdisciplinary studies, feminism, ecology, and sociology. She has participated in various conferences and research projects and supervised a number of dissertations.

Professor Abdelmotagally noted, “The subjectivity of the enslaved African is underexplored in the critical literature on Caribbean slavery, and besides, psychoanalysis in Caribbean literature is an underused critical approach.” She said Horane Smith “is one of the writers who breathe life into the past in their texts. Smith retraces and connects up with the past through the gateway of legends that usually form part of the group’s history, documenting and reinterpreting crucial historical moments. He uses legends to reconceptualize a past that has been deliberately distorted in white discourse. The ceaseless presence of the past in his texts also enables him to uncover what is hushed up in history and literature.”

The study tackles the subject of mixed relationships in plantation life and the emotions and behaviours that emerged, especially among slaves. The professor said she was, “enticed to braid Leon Festinger’s Cognitive Dissonance theory (1957) with Frantz Fanon’s “psychoanalytical interpretation of the black problem” in Black Skin White Masks (1952) to delve deep into Jerome’s (Lover’s Leap’s main character) inner self and examine how he responds to attitude and behavior inconsistencies produced within various contexts of hegemonic power.”

The study is extensive and cites various authors and experts in the field of psychoanalysis, historians and sociologists, to give credence to her conclusive theory of cognitive dissonance (two-ness) in Jerome Stewart.  “By breaking open the past’s Pandora’s Box, Smith raises the concepts of identity and identification. Conjuring the past is his sonde for renegotiating the present and improving the future. The encompassing view and universal concerns of Lover’s Leap create a kind of identification that crosses the spatio- temporal borders of slavery. Smith stresses the direct relation between the absence of selfhood and physical and/or mental enslavement. Most modern Caribbean black men, still accommodate ‘their psyche to racist information,’ and psychologically and largely depend on the ‘colonial and Eurocentric knowledge systems’ for identification (Sutherland, 2011, 1187). They still submit to the white culture supremacy and racial values—the leading ideology up to the present time—which is why they do not reach a state of real harmony. Like Jerome, they bear a double burden: they are deprived of their own culture and, concurrently, are prevented from really entering the white hegemonic culture. Smith attempts to raise the Caribbean black men’s awareness and understanding of the institutions of slavery and the colonial forces that have conspired to disturb their psyches and de- Africanize them, making them lose touch with their harmonious selves and their roots,” the Professor noted.

Horane Smith is the author of fourteen novels; seven of them explore slavery themes in Jamaica and North America. Lover’s Leap remains his best-selling novel 20-years after publication.  Dawn at Lover’s Leap, the sequel to Lover’s Leap: Based on the Jamaican Legend was a finalist in the USA Booknews Bestbook Award for Historical Fiction. Smith was born at Yardley Chase, St. Elizabeth, the same district where Lover’s Leap is situated. The site is currently one of the major attractions on Jamaica’s south coast and copies of the novel are also available there for sale as well as major online retailers and at

More information on the study is available at: