Aren’t books great? Books, remember them? Remember books. Books, for those that’ve forgotten, are those things we used to read before we all decided that paragraphs were too much of an effort to bother with. To this day there are people who read books, and those people—who, presumably, read every book available, every book that slides its way into the physical present like so many papery sausages flopping off a conveyor belt—wear tote bags that let everyone know how much they love reading books.
And those book lovers will have woken up with a smile on their face, knowing as only they could that another book is about to emerge kicking and screaming, bloodied and bruised, into a world of laptops and tablets. That book is My Life in Reggae and it has been written by lifelong reggae nut David Rodigan, and it is about the life that David Rodigan, the lifelong reggae nut, has had in reggae, which is handy because if there’s one thing that lifelong reggae nut David Rodigan is qualified to write about, it’s the life David Rodigan, lifelong reggae nut, has had in reggae.
The autobiography is set to hit shelves on the 3rd of March. It’s being published by Little, Brown, who’ve also released work by J.K. Rowling, David Foster Wallace, and Mr Khan from BBC sitcom Citizen Khan, so the lifelong reggae nut’s in good company.
We’re not the only people who think so, either. Esteemed literary critics Shaggy and Vanessa Feltz have both expressed interest in My Life in Reggae. Shaggy, who has been a little quiet in the last 15 years, is rumoured to have read everything in existence, and Feltz, for years now, has used the pen name Jacques Rancière to publish countless philosophical studies.
“David is a pioneer in reggae music,” Shaggy told the press. “As a selector and radio personality, his vast knowledge of the Jamaican music and its culture has helped to educate and fascinate music lovers around the would, he’s an amazing son of the music, and an icon. We couldn’t have made it this far without him.”
Feltz followed this by noting, “Rodigan’s insatiable appetite for reggae in all its guises and permutations has been a gift to Great Britain. Life without Rodigan would be unimaginable. He waged war against the marginalisation of reggae and fought to infuse radio listeners with his own indefatigable passion. We are forever in his debt.”
Mary-Kay Wilmers, the veteran editor of the London Review of Books, is said to be quivering with excitement at the 20,000 word essay James Meek has prepared on the book.
My Life in Reggae is published by Little, Brown on the 3rd of March.