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Jamaica with Nicola Yoon

Imagine you’re in Jamaica with the author of Instructions for Dancing

Travel to Jamaica with Nicola Yoon

We’re living vicariously through our authors and their stories set around the world! So far, we’ve visited France with Sanaë Lemoine, Morocco with Laila Lalami, South Korea with Michelle Zauner, Indonesia with Jesse Q. Sutanto, Malaysia with Zen Cho, and Antarctica with Maggie Shipstead and Julian Sancton.

Visit Jamaica with Nicola Yoon, author of several novels including Everything, Everything, The Sun is Also a Star, and, most recently, Instructions for Dancing. She grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn, and currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and their daughter. Check out her favorite places and meals in Jamaica!

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Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
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Instructions for Dancing
By Nicola Yoon
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What is one of your favorite memories of being in Jamaica?

I spent every summer in a beach house with my cousins. The house was literally on the sand. We’d wake up in the morning and run down to the ocean and stay there all day. It was magical.

What is your favorite place in Jamaica to visit?

Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay. It’s a touristy beach, but for me it’s nostalgic. I have many happy memories of playing there with my family when I was a little girl. Also, I love that the waves are really quiet. You can walk out into the ocean for a long time and the water will still be at your waist.

Jamaica is undoubtedly beautiful, but there is more to it than the beaches and reggae music.

What is one meal you recommend for visitors?

The national dish is ackee and salt fish, and it’s delicious. Ackee is a strange-looking fruit, kind of like black olives inside a bell pepper. Also, it’s poisonous if it’s not ripe. The fish is cod encrusted in salt. When my mom makes it, she adds tomatoes and onions, and the entire house smells wonderful. Ackee and salt fish is the one meal that makes me feel like a kid again.

What do you wish people knew before visiting?

Jamaica is undoubtedly beautiful, but there is more to it than the beaches and reggae music. I wish people would leave the resorts and get to know the locals.

Where is home to you?

Home is where my husband and daughter are. They really are my country.

Thank you Nicola! Discover her novels as well as more of our book recommendations set in Jamaica, from novels to cookbooks.

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The Sun Is Also a Star Movie Tie-in Edition by Nicola Yoon
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The Sun Is Also a Star Movie Tie-in Edition
By Nicola Yoon
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Everything, Everything Movie Tie-in Edition by Nicola Yoon
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Everything, Everything Movie Tie-in Edition
By Nicola Yoon
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A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
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A Brief History of Seven Killings
By Marlon James
Paperback $18.00
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How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs
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How to Love a Jamaican
By Alexia Arthurs
Paperback $17.00
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The True History of Paradise by Margaret Cezair-Thompson
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The True History of Paradise
By Margaret Cezair-Thompson
Paperback $17.00
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Waiting in Vain by Colin Channer
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Waiting in Vain
By Colin Channer
Paperback $16.00
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Augustown by Kei Miller
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Augustown
By Kei Miller
Paperback $16.00
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Supplying Salt and Light by Lorna Goodison
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Supplying Salt and Light
By Lorna Goodison
Paperback $18.99
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Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry
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Afro-Vegan
By Bryant Terry
Hardcover $27.50
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Jerk from Jamaica by Helen Willinsky
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Jerk from Jamaica
By Helen Willinsky
Paperback $19.99
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