Brother Man

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Brother Man
First edition
Author Roger Mais
Country Jamaica
Language English
Publisher Jonathan Cape
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 191 pp

Brother Man (1954) is a novel by Jamaican Roger Mais, about a Messianic folk Rastafarian healer, 'Bra' Man' (in dialect) John Power. The book is significant as the first serious representation of the Rastafari movement in literature. Mais foresaw the defining power of the Rasta movement to Jamaican society 20 years before the era of Bob Marley and Reggae mainstream.[1]

It is also significant as an exploration of life in the ghetto of Kingston. It shows how the people relate to leaders, both making them deities and throwing them away when they fail to entertain them. The novel is written in prose with a layout that is seemingly cinematic and episodic; little is done to describe the environment beyond the claustrophobic ghetto of 'The Lane' in the slums of Kingston, Jamaica.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

The plot follows the superstructure of Christ's story, with other characters resembling Mary Magdalene and other figures from his life. It uses this to explore conditions in the black ghetto of Kingston and the growth of the Rastafari movement.