If I Survive You

Jonathan Escoffery


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HarperCollins Publishers
2 February 2023
ISBN: 9780008501211
272 pages

From the publisher

‘Kaleidoscopic, urgent, hilarious, revelatory’ Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

‘Sumptuous and astute … An absolute delight to read’ Diana Evans, author of Ordinary People

'A compelling hurricane of a book' Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House


A major debut, blazing with style and heart, that follows a Jamaican family in Miami navigating recession, racism and Hurricane Andrew.

You want a home.
You want to win back your girlfriend’s admiration.
You want to prove that your father bet on the wrong son.

1979. Topper and Sanya flee to Miami as political violence consumes their native Kingston. But they soon learn that the welcome in America will be far from warm.

Trelawny, their youngest son, comes of age in a society which regards him with suspicion and confusion, greeting him with the puzzled question ‘What are you?’

Their eldest son Delano’s longing for a better future for his own children is equalled only by his recklessness in trying to secure it.

As both brothers navigate the obstacles littered in their path – an unreliable father, racism, a financial crisis and Hurricane Andrew – they find themselves pitted against one another. Will their rivalry be the thing that finally tears their family apart?

The thrilling linked stories in Jonathan Escoffery’s If I Survive You pulse with inimitable style, heart and barbed humour while unravelling what it means to carve out an existence between cultures, homes and pay checks. They announce Escoffery as a once in a generation talent and chronicler of life at its most gruesome and hopeful.

'Escoffery's is a strong, much needed new voice in our literature’ Percival Everett, Booker shortlisted author of The Trees

'A welcome reminder of what fiction can do’ Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind

'Brilliant wit, real heart and electric humour' Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Friday Black