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Abstract

In this article, I analyze how Kerry Young’s novel Pao negotiates the Jamaican political economy from the inception of Jamaica’s political parties, through the Manley period in the 1970s, and into the neoliberal era. I focus, in particular, on how the novel aligns with Manley’s claims of CIA involvement in destabilizing his government, and on the ascendancy of US-backed neoliberal hegemony that followed Manley’s defeat. I argue that we can read the protagonist’s character, riven between anti-imperialist ideals and capitalist ambitions, as a critique of Jamaican political economy and the waning of emancipatory politics since the neoliberal turn.

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