Joshua Jelly-Schapiro is the author of Island People: the Caribbean and the World and co-editor of Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas. His essays on arts, history, culture, and politics have appeared in the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, Harper’s, the Guardian, the Nation, and the Believer, among others.
Island People, the product of almost a decade of travel and intense study, is “an ambitious depiction of almost all the islands in that region in a narrative that merges historical, political, and geographical accounts of the Caribbean with the author’s abundant experiences as a traveler with an abiding fondness for the islands in all their eccentric, sometimes-bizarre complexity,” says Kirkus Reviews. “This book … does the region splendid justice,” says the New York Times.
Jelly-Schapiro says the Caribbean region has often been overlooked by both the academic and cultural mainstream, but it “has been anything but ‘marginal’ to the making of our modern world.” His vision for the book was: “how to bring a map of what we know, or think we know about this region, and compare it to our vision of it, but then to allow that map to be reshaped by listening—by listening to people there, and absorbing their maps,” he says in an interview with Literary Hub.
He earned his doctorate degree in geography from UC-Berkeley and is currently a visiting scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University, where he also teaches journalism. He lives in New York City, but spends as much time as possible on other islands.
Island People: The Caribbean and the World (2016)
Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas (2016)
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