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A Fire Rush playlist, curated by Jacqueline Crooks

A playlist to listen to while reading Jacqueline Crooks' debut novel Fire Rush, which opens at a dub reggae night in 1970s London.

Cover image for Fire Rush by Jacqueline Crooks: red and green screenprint of woman with afro and hoop earrings on yellow background.
Cover for Fire Rush. Creative direction by Suzanne Dean. Photograph by Adaeze Obiageli Okaro, screen print by Kate Gibb, lettering by Jodi Hunt.

Fire Rush is the electrifying state-of-the-nation novel by Jacqueline Crooks, publishing in March 2023. A story of dub reggae, love, loss and freedom, it’s an unforgettable portrait of Black womanhood that combines the musicality of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe: Lovers Rock, the ambition of Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other and the unforgettable love story of Caleb Azumah Nelson’s Open Water, with a truly original storytelling voice, this is a novel that moves and enchants everyone who reads it.

Music is the soul of the book, and author Jacqueline Crooks has created a playlist for you to listen to while you read.

Track list

  1. Ghetto of the City, Misty in Roots – Opening scene, referencing the subterranean world
  1. Sing Me a Love Song, Carroll Thompson – Yamaye communing with Muma
  1. Bad Boy Rhythm Dub, King Tubby – Dancing with Crab Man
  1. London Town, Light of the World – Asase, Rumer, Yamaye, Moose, driving through London looking for a rave
  1. Love Has Found Its Way, Dennis Brown – Yamaye and Moose falling in love
  1. Lady of Magic, Bunny Maloney – Moose gives Yamaye the ring and mix tapes
  1. Babylon, Sugar Minott – Campaigning marches
  1. Jah War, The Ruts – Riot scene
  1. Even Though You’re Gone, Louisa Mark – A grieving song
  1. Cover Up, Misty in Roots – Herbert and Yamaye know the police are following them
  1. Jammin’ for Survival, Prince Jammy – Yamaye playing tunes for the men in the Safe House
  1. Night Nurse, Gregory Isaacs – Monassa coming to Yamaye’s room every night
  1. Pimper’s Paradise, Bob Marley & The Wailers – Arrival of Charmaine
  1. Stir It Up, Bob Marley & The Wailers – Yamaye decides to take Monassa’s money and go on the run
  1. City Too Hot, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – Yamaye feeling the pressure from Monassa and his men in the Safe House, wanting to escape, talking to Charmaine
  1. I Need a Roof, Mighty Diamonds – Yamaye on the run, sleeping in the park
  1. Hopelessly in Love, Carroll Thompson – Yamaye thinking of Moose
  1. Country Living, Sandra Cross – Yamaye settling in to Cockpit Country
  1. Natural Mystic, Bob Marley & The Wailers – Yamaye and Granny Itiba decide to use obeah and herbs to deal with Monassa
Fire Rush
Fire Rush
This is our dancing time.

Yamaye lives for the weekend, when she can go raving with her friends at The Crypt, an underground club in the industrial town on the outskirts of London where she was born and raised. A young woman unsure of her future, the sound is her guide - a chance to discover who she really is in the rhythms of those smoke-filled nights. In the dance-hall darkness, dub is the music of her soul, her friendships, her ancestry.

But everything changes when she meets Moose, the man she falls deeply in love with, and who offers her the chance of freedom and escape.

When their relationship is brutally cut short, Yamaye goes on a dramatic journey of transformation that takes her first to Bristol - where she is caught up in a criminal gang and the police riots sweeping the country - and then to Jamaica, where past and present collide with explosive consequences.

A debut about dub reggae, love, loss and freedom, Fire Rush is an electrifying state-of-the-nation novel and an unforgettable portrait of Black womanhood.

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