A Conversation with Diana McCaulay

“Uptown and Downtown: A Conversation on Class Stratification with Diana McCaulay.” Jamaica Journal, vol. 35, no. 1-2, 2014, pp. 94-99.

Intro Excerpt: Diana McCaulay may not yet be a familiar name to non-Jamaicans when it comes to Caribbean novelists, but her burgeoning oeuvre, which attests to both her talent and zeal for writing, will very soon gain her a space in the Caribbean canon. Perhaps best known for her weekly column that appeared for nearly a decade in the Jamaican newspaper the Gleaner, McCaulay recently decided to try her hand at writing novels. A native and lifelong resident of Jamaica, McCaulay also is not shy about addressing the many controversial issues of Jamaican society within her narratives. Her debut novel Dog-Heart is a prime example, as it boldly tackles class prejudice and the very real gap between uptown and downtown or the so-called two Jamaicas. To help readers unpack the narrative, McCaulay elaborated on many of the key issues in Dog-Heart during my interview with her. Besides issues of class, we discussed other themes that appear in the narrative such as education, parent-child relationships and colour privilege. I met up with McCaulay at her office, which serves as the headquarters for the Jamaican Environment Trust, an organisation McCaulay founded in 1991 to promote environmental activism.