Haymarket Books
Books for changing the world
Is Just a Movie
Rich, inventive, and funny, here is the first novel in over a decade from the great Caribbean novelist Earl Lovelace.

In Trinidad, in the wake of 1970's Black Power rebellion, we follow Sonnyboy, Singer King Kala, and their town's folk through experiments in music, politics, religion, and love—and in their day-to-day adventures. Humorous and serious, sad and uplifting, Is Just a Movie, is a radiant novel about small moments of magic in ordinary life.

Earl Lovelace's books include While Gods Are Falling, winner of the BP Independence Award; the Caribbean classic The Dragon Can't Dance; and Salt, which won the 1997 Commonwealth Writers Prize. For Is Just a Movie, he has won the Grand Prize for Caribbean Literature by the Regional Council of Guadeloupe and the 2012 OCM
Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.

  • "Maker, destroyer, recorder, revealer: that is Earl Lovelace and here he is at his soaring rhapsodic best. Starring two hapless almost-beens in search of movie fame, Is Just A Movie takes us on wild loving absurdist journey to the heart of a contemporary Trinidad, a Trinidad so ravishingly alive that the Naipauls of the world could never have imagined it or possessed the soul to write about it."
    --Junot Díaz, author, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    "Earl Lovelace's genius is revealed in his capacity to consistently write characters of complex sophistication that remain fully believable as products of their landscape and time even as the author conjures up riveting and often unusual circumstances in their lives. Lovelace's characters are compelling because of the care and profound empathy with which he explores their thinking and their feelings.
    Lovelace understand Trinidad and its people, its music, its history and its psyche in ways that have made him one of the most important writers to have emerged from the Caribbean in the last seventy years. Is Just a Movie manages to combine all the elements of the best calypso-a postmodernist sense of the world, a earthbound wit, a capacity for complex tragedy and a haunting humanity. Lovelace makes you want to be Trinidadian."
    --Kwame Dawes, Distinguished Poet in Residence at the University of South Carolina

    "Lovelace has written an comic masterpiece. The dazzle of talent on display in this his latest
    novel is in its own way absurd. Yes, some writers do have it all."
    --Colin Channer, author, Waiting in Vain

    "The publication of a new novel by Earl Lovelace is an event to celebrate. This satire, while biting, is tempered with a pathos and humor which directs us to the fundamental humanity we have come to recognize in all of Lovelace's writing."
    --Lawrence Scott, author, Night Calypso

    "More than any other writer, the prose of Earl Lovelace is 'Trini to the bone.' And like the famed Cascadu river fish after which the village in Is Just a Movie is named, once its sweet flesh is tasted, the reader is destined to return to its shores."
    --Robert Antoni, author of Divina Trace and Carnival

    "Earl Lovelace is arguably the Caribbean's greatest living novelist. In Is Just a Movie, he writes at the top of his considerable literary powers, picturing the Caribbean's poor and powerless defending their ever-embattled humanity with resourcefulness and tenacity."
    --Randall Robinson, author, Makeda