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Desmond Hall Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Your Corner Dark (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Desmond Hall is a Young Jamaica author who has made a name for himself with his debut novel “Your Corner Dark.” The novel which was published in 2021 has been referred to by critics as “Long Way Down” meets “American Street.” It is a gritty and searing novel that is a bold exploration of the harsh realities of Jamaica’s gang life. The novel also looks at how much a teenager is willing to do for their family. The book confronts some modern concepts and themes that include political deception, police brutality, gang culture and colorism. While he grew up in Jamaica, he moved to the US as a teenager and undertook a degree in journalism at Marquette University, where he was famously on the list of Who’s Who of American College Students. After graduation, he went on to work on movies and directed and wrote “A Day in Black and White,” a HBO feature movie that got a Gordon Parks Award nomination. He was also the director and writer of “Stockholm Brooklyn,” a full length stage play that was the winner of the Downtown Theater Festival Audience Award.

Hall’s inspiration for the writing of his debut comes from a combination of life experiences, not least his work teaching English and Biology at Brooklyn school. During this time, he was also a counselor who specialized in at-risk teens that had just been released from the Rikers Island Correctional facility. Thereafter, he found a job as creative director of advertising where he was responsible for the creation of many successful campaigns that ran on TV. He made two Superbowl commercials and won several awards while he was in charge of Spike Lee’s PR agency. Even as he found a great career in film and advertising, his passion for the youth still continued to burn strong. During this time, he was on the Partnership for a Drug Free America board. He also was a judge of the One Show, and sat on the boards of the NYC Downtown Film Festival and Addys. He was also named in the Top 50 Creatives to Watch by Variety magazine.

Desmond Hall left Jamaica and lived in the US on three different occasions before he turned eleven. At this time, he lived with relatives and was referred to as a barrel child which in Jamaica means a child separated from parents for economic reasons. In Jamaica, he grew up in Kingston and two districts of St James Parish, most of which were highly crime ridden. The inspiration for “Your Corner Dark” is for the most part drawn from his experience during this time. As a boy living in Jamaica, his parents and many friends and relatives left their doors open to let in the cool night breeze. At present, Jamaica is known for having in excess of 300 criminal gangs with more than 200 of them known to be very active. Most housing estates in Jamaica usually have steel grills in front of doors and windows due to the threat of gang attacks. The transformation from a tranquil country to one where people cower before metal grills was something he just had to write about. He was also inpired by the murder of his uncle by some gang which caused his family much trauma.

As for how he got into publishing, Hall has said that he was fortunate enough to meet some very fine people that helped him establish a career in publishing. He had always wanted to write literature and he had turned away from journalism during his college years after he had a long talk with one of his professors. He got into advertising since he believed it was the best route to write and make money at the same time. During his junior year, he applied to several advertising agencies and was accepted to Andrews/Mautner, a small agency. He got into the film business when he pretended to deliver a pizza to a head recruiter at Young & Rubicam. The recruiter was impressed enough by his pitch and offered him an assignment which he passed. When he graduated, he started working on manuscripts at Boston’s Grubstreet which helped him hone his fiction writing skills. It was while he was working at Grubstreet that he ran into an old friend that recommended he apply for an writing incubator program. This was an intensive one year program where he was tutored by Michelle Hoover. It is something akin to an MFA except for the fact that instead of just studying theory you have to work intensely on your book. At the end of the course, he met big time editors from the likes of Marketplace Conference and the Muse and published his novel in 2021.

“Your Corner Dark” by Desmond Hall is a page turner of a novel that tells the story of Frankie, a high school senior. He is about to leave Jamaica, a place he has called home his whole life to go to the United States, where he is to study to become an engineer. Frankie really does want to get the scholarship that would allow him to follow his dream of becoming an engineer. It is the only way he can create a better life for himself and make his parents proud. But his life changes when his uncle becomes a member of a gang. Frankie decides to give up his scholarship and join the posse which is quite a big sacrifice that he needs to make to save the life of his father. Ober the course of the story, most of his relatives choose selfishness over what is best for Frankie. Aunt Jenny is the only smart adult but ultimately, it is Leah Frankie’s girlfriend who tries to get him out of the posse. “Your Corner Dark” portrays a very different side of Jamaica that most people have never had the chance to see. It explores the daily struggle of citizens in a story of sacrifice, loss, love and hope. For the author who has lived in Jamaica and in the US, it is quite a contrast between the two worlds.

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