New Book: I&I: The Natural Mystics by Colin Grant

A medallion of the Lion of Judah adorned the fine and noble forehead of Bunny Wailer as a third eye, lovingly-tended dreadlocks swept down his shoulders and back; with his arms raised before him and hands cupped almost in prayer, he more closely resembled a mendicant than an international music star. He had begun the set in sublime communion with his fallen brothers but his temper was disturbed by the discordant braying of a small section of the crowd. The diminutive, 5’2” star stopped singing. He held out and began flapping his arms, beckoning his band to put down their instruments. The jeering and bad-mouthing continued. Bunny Wailer came to the edge of the stage, his face ablaze with fury, and raged. Did they, the nay-sayers, not know his pedigree? Did they not feel privileged by his attendance? Shouldn’t the elders of Reggae (he was forty-three) be revered? Had he not helped put Jamaica on the map? Hadn’t he toiled for years without recognition, made huge sacrifices? Had he not fashioned music to soothe the soul and raise the spirits? Well no more: ‘I and I….’ His litany of disbelief was interrupted.

~Excerpt and photo from I&I: The Natural MysticsI&I: The Natural Mystics | Online Only | Granta Magazine

I&I: The Natural Mystics will be published in 2011 by Jonathan Cape in the UK and Norton in the US.

About the author:

Colin Grant is a BBC radio producer and independent historian. His first book, Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey, was published in 2008 (Jonathan Cape/OUP). His memoir Bageye at the Wheel, an extract of which, ‘Lino’, will be printed in Granta 111: Going Back, will be published in February 2012.


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