The Island of Forgetting

By Jasmine Sealy

‘Inventive, excellent … a pure pleasure to read’ THE TIMES

In this compelling debut, an unknowable legacy passes through generations of one family living on the beautiful island of Barbados.

There is Iapetus, a lonely soul haunted by the memory of his father; his son Atlas, dreaming of a life far removed from his reality; Atlas’s daughter Calypso, struggling to find her place in an unforgiving society; and her son Nautilus, grappling with various parts of a complex identity.

Each of them longs to escape – to go beyond the borders and circumstances that have contained them for so long – but each finds that they are trapped by a history found only in whispers and half-remembered fragments; and that it is dictating a future over which they have little control.

With every passing decade another generation must contend with the same doubts about their identity, about their place in the small world they have carved out for themselves and the same question: how can the things we don’t know define our futures?

Perfect for fans of Girl, Woman, Other and Homegoing, THE ISLAND OF FORGETTING is a powerful story of family and hope, and marks the arrival of a stunning new voice in literary fiction.


Format: Hardback
Release Date: 26 May 2022
Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-0-00-853289-5
Jasmine Sealy is a British-born, Barbadian-Canadian writer based in Vancouver, BC. Her short fiction has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (2017) and included in Best Canadian Stories (2021). In 2020 she won the University of British Columbia/HarperCollins Fiction Prize for this novel.

”'The Island of Forgetting works on many levels: as a family saga, as Greek myth retold and as a portrait of Barbados through the 20th century. This excellent debut is also a pure pleasure to read” - The Times Book of the Month

”'A brilliant richly absorbing tale on the repercussions of hidden familial legacies. A deeply evocative, stirring work” - IRENOSEN OKOJIE, Caine Prize-Winning author of Nudibranch

”'Clever and absorbing, this debut is a treat” - Times’s 100 Best Books of the Summer

”'Jasmine Sealy’s The Island of Forgetting is an epic novel of great elegance and empathy. Her nuanced portrait of love, loss and identity on a small Caribbean island is well-poised to become a classic of the Caribbean literary canon” - CHERIE JONES, Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlisted author of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

”'The Island of Forgetting is an engrossing saga of love, family and the undying past - gorgeous at the sentence level and sweeping in both depth and scope. Jasmine Sealy is one of the most exciting and powerful new voices in fiction, and with this stunning debut she has crafted a moving world of a book, polyphonic and sprinkled throughout with fire” - OMAR EL AKKAD, author of What Strange Paradise

”'A stunning debut.The Island of Forgetting is a bold, passionate, and razor-sharp novel, exquisitely written and deeply moving. With great empathy and nuance, Jasmine Sealy explores family bonds and secret legacies and the scarifies we make in their name. I couldn’t put this book down. Jasmine Sealy is an astonishing, fierce new talent in Canadian fiction” - AYELET TSABARI