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Gayl Jones



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14 September 2021
AN EPIC TALE OF LOVE AND LIBERATION, SET IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY COLONIAL BRAZIL From plantation to plantation, Almeyda, a young slave girl, hears whispers, rumours of Palmares, a hidden settlement where fugitive slaves live free. But can this promised land exist? And what price is paid for 'freedom'?

In Palmares, Gayl Jones brings to life a world full of unforgettable characters, reimagining extraordinary historical events and combining them with mythology and magic. The result is a sweeping saga spanning a quarter of a century. Of Gayl Jones, the New Yorker noted, '[Her] great achievement is to reckon with both history and interiority, and to collapse the boundary between them.' Like nothing else before it, Palmares embodies this gift.

Palmares hails the return of a major voice in American literature - 'the best American novelist whose name you may not know' (Atlantic). Gayl Jones was first discovered and edited by Toni Morrison, and her talent was praised by writers including Maya Angelou, James Baldwin and John Updike. After a handful of acclaimed novels, she withdrew from the publishing world. Now Jones returns with her first new novel in over twenty years.
By:   Gayl Jones
Imprint:   Virago
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 40mm
Weight:   680g
ISBN:   9780349015255
ISBN 10:   0349015252
Pages:   544
Publication Date:   14 September 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Gayl Jones was born in Kentucky in 1949. She attended Connecticut College and Brown University and has taught at Wellesley and the University of Michigan.

Reviews for Palmares

Palmares enfolds the reader in a bygone world, with a glance to our own, and has a great whispering lushness that is both magical and panoramic -- Diana Evans, author of ORDINARY PEOPLE A literary giant, and one of my absolute favourite writers -- Tayari Jones, author of AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE Jones reemerges after a 21-year hiatus with an epic and inventive saga that weaves together magic, mythology, and Portuguese colonial history . . . Jones brings her established incisiveness and linguistic flair to the horrifyingly accurate portrayal of racial struggle . . . it's a triumphant return * Publisher's Weekly * Tremendous. A masterfully absorbing, mythic work from a vital voice. The gods have conspired to gift us a new book from Gayl Jones and my what a gloriously eddying read -- Irenosen Okojie, author of NUDIBRANCH Gayl Jones conjures with deep intimacy and immediacy a brutal world that is centuries past but fully alive with spirit and mystery. Page after breathtaking page, her prose is intricate, mesmerizing, and endlessly inventive and subversive. Palmares is absolutely stunning! -- Deesha Philyaw, author of THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES Set in the17th century, Palmares is a sprawling, ambitious tale of racial struggle, Portuguese colonial rule, magical realism & mythology . . . a sublime feat of imagination -- Martin Chilton * Independent * Palmares, Jones' long-awaited fifth novel, is a blistering return to form worth the two decade wait ... Gorgeously suffused with mystery, history, and magic, Palmares is a remarkable new outing from a major voice in American letters -- Adrienne Westenfeld * Esquire * I can't tell you the last time I picked up a book and was struck dumb by the sheer beauty of its prose, and the enormity of what I don't know, but I'm here to tell you Palmares is that book -- Sam Baker * Noon Magazine * A legendary African American novelist returns with her first novel in 22 years, an epic adventure of enchantment, enslavement, and the pursuit of knowledge in 17th-century Brazil . . . Those familiar with Corregidora (1975) and Eva's Man (1976) will not be surprised by the sustained intensity of both imagery and tone. There is also sheer wonder, insightful compassion, and droll wit to be found among the book's riches. Jones seems to have come through a life as tumultuous as her heroine's with her storytelling gifts not only intact, but enhanced and enriching * Kirkus * Gayl Jones's work represents a watershed in American literature. From a literary standpoint, her form is impeccable; from a historical standpoint, she stands at the very cutting edge of understanding the modern world, and as a Black woman writer, her truth-telling, filled with beauty, tragedy, humor, and incisiveness, is unmatched. Jones is a writer's writer, and her influence is found everywhere -- Imani Perry Jones's feats of linguistic and historical invention are on ample display . . . Gayl Jones's new work is as relevant as ever. With monumental sweep, it blends psychological acuity and linguistic invention in a way that only a handful of writers in the transatlantic tradition have matched. She has boldly set out to convey racial struggle in its deep-seated and disorienting complexity - Jones sees the whole where most only see pieces -- Calvin Baker * Atlantic *

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