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JIS News

A collection of short stories titled, ‘Pardner Money Stories’, by Jamaican born writer, Deanne Heron, will be one of five novels to be launched in London by Hansib Publications this weekend to mark its 40th anniversary .
The book takes an amusing look at life within an extended black Jamaican family in Britain, and Ms. Heron tells JIS News that while not autobiographical, it is inspired by events and characters in her own life.
Ms. Heron said she chose that title, because she wanted to capture that aspect of Jamaican life.
“I was involved in a Partner for many years until the lady (who organised it) died. I wrote a Poem about the decline of the Partner and this triggered the short stories and then I found out that Partners were alive and well and had even moved into the modern era where there were people who made their payments through regular monthly standing order at the bank,” she said.
Ms. Heron, whose short stories are regularly published in the Jamaica Observer Literary section, said she started writing mainly to “amuse” herself. “Most of the stories are based on true events that have been embellished,” she said.
The book is written in English with easy to understand Jamaican patois dialogue, and Ms Heron said she has always had an interest in patois and the Jamaican sense of humour. She is particularly pleased that people who have read her stories have been able to identify with them.
The stories tackle subjects from funerals to family holidays, looking at the interactions of various generations and highlighting the strong bonds of love and respect that cements the family together and gets them through various crises.
Ms Heron, who now lives in Manchester in the north of England, was born in Kingston in 1957 and came to England as a nine year-old. She has been a foster parent for more than 10 years and has fostered 23 children of varying ages to date. In 2007 she qualified as a Counsellor and now works part time for a local community group teaching counselling.
She is particularly pleased by the growing interest in the book since it had its first small launch in Manchester earlier this year.
“It has taken on a life of its own. I have been receiving lots of invitations to speak and to read from the book and I was also asked to be the support act for (the Jamaican internationally renown poet) Mutabaruka at a show in Manchester on November 18. I really love every minute of it,” she added.
There are also plans for a follow-up book. Ms Heron said the publishers have asked her if she had more stories, so she is busy putting the final touches on a new collection.