If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery is a collection of short stories focusing on the lives of Jamaican Americans living in Florida. The stories feature a tight cast of characters, Trelawny, Delano, their parents, and their cousin Cukie. The collection shows these characters at their lowest points, living out of their cars while working for an apartment complex, a father who traffics drugs, and other moments where they simply need to find a way to get by. I found the whole collection to be striking, but in particular, I enjoyed, ‘In Flux’, because of its comments on how Blackness is perceived in America, ‘Pestilence’, ‘Spashdown’, ‘Independent Living’, and ‘If I Survive You’. In the last story, it provides an intense look at how people view and take advantage of the Jamaican American population. I found the tension and dynamic of the brothers to be powerful. Highly recommend this book.
Final Rating: 5/5
Maxwell Suzuki is a writer, poet, and photographer based in Los Angeles.