“AlieNation” By Jayma Anne Montgomery. A Memoir Worth Reading

"AlieNation" By Jayma Anne Montgomery. A Memoir Worth Reading

AlieNation” is a memoir told as a collection of non-chronological short stories and personal essays recounting Ms. Montgomery’s experiences as an American alien turned naturalized citizen. The book is divided into five sections, with four to six stories per section and a prologue and an epilogue.


Here the author discusses her experience growing up as a Jamaican immigrant and person of color in America.  Through a series of progressive revelations, she came to realize that this country is no less hierarchal or class-driven than any other. Her outsider perspective provides invaluable insight into the ways in which fairly rigid social classes are merely called by other names in the United States.


In this section, the author discusses themes of womanhood and feminism in the context of her West Indian background. She also discusses various influences that have shaped her perspective regarding womanhood including serving in the military, developing alopecia as a young adult, and her struggles with recurrent pregnancy losses. She concludes with a tribute to her sister-in-law, whose life of hardship, loss, familial strife, and ambivalence with the church community molded her into a wellspring of wisdom, generosity, and joy.


Here she talks about her experiences as an awkward teen trying to understand what it means to be a Christian and finding herself confused by the words and actions of the Christian adults around her. She later talks about how deconstructing her faith helped her see that the picture of God painted for her was unbalanced and short-sighted. She ends by exploring how politics, racial tensions, the pandemic, and numerous scandals caused her to re-evaluate her identity as an Evangelical.


In this section, the author discusses some important milestones in her medical career. She recounts what it was like to practice medicine during the COVID pandemic and her heartbreaking experiences while working in nursing homes. Finally, she talks about the cost of pursuing medicine, her difficulties in managing a full-time career while parenting young children, and her decision to transition into part-time practice while pursuing a writing career.


In the final chapters, she describes her unique experiences as a black girl raised in an ultra-conservative Republican household and how this shaped her disengagement from politics for most of her adult life. She explores what it’s like to live in a world of perpetual culture wars, bipartisanship, polarization, and extremism. As she has grown more disillusioned by the political spectacle that has become the new norm, she has felt increasingly estranged and alienated from this country that she loves. She connects this reality with the Christian worldview, which holds that all Christians are citizens and subjects of a king and kingdom that is a present reality and yet still to come.

About The Author

Jayma Anne was born in the ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica in the 1980s. She immigrated to America when she was five years old and was raised in south Jersey. She graduated high school in 2001 and completed undergraduate studies in 2005. Her undergrad degree is in Biology with a minor in Psychology. From there, she attended medical school in Virginia from 2007-2011 through the Army scholarship program. She completed an internship in Augusta, GA followed by a year-long General Medical Officer tour near Savannah, GA. Her Internal Medicine residency was completed at a military Tri-service hospital from 2013-2015. Jayma’s final duty station was Ft Eustis as a staff internist at an outpatient clinic. She completed military service in Dec 2018 and took a job as a SNFist in the Scranton, PA area. She has had several more jobs then and has since relocated to NC as of Jan 2021. She currently works as a part-time hospitalist at a few local hospitals in Charlotte and a Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH).  She is a budding non-fiction writer and is currently completing an online Masters’s degree in Creative Non-fiction at the University of Denver.

Her husband works in IT but also has lots of church ministry experience, and an abundance of natural instrumental music talent which he is very modest about.  They are the proud parents of two rainbow children.

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