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Redemption in Indigoby Karen Lord
Synopses & Reviews
Karen Lord's debut novel, which won the prestigious Frank Collymore Literary Prize in Barbados, is an intricately woven tale of adventure, magic, and the power of the human spirit.
Paama's husband is a fool and a glutton. Bad enough that he followed her to her parents' home in the village of Makende, now he's disgraced himself by murdering livestock and stealing corn. When Paama leaves him for good, she attracts the attention of the undying ones — the djombi — who present her with a gift: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world. Unfortunately, a wrathful djombi with indigo skin believes this power should be his and his alone.
Bursting with humor and rich in fantastic detail, Redemption in Indigo is a clever, contemporary fairy tale that introduces readers to a dynamic new voice in Caribbean literature. Lord's world of spider tricksters and indigo immortals, inspired in part by a Senegalese folk tale, will feel instantly familiar — but Paama's adventures are fresh, surprising, and utterly original.
"Fantasy as a genre does not have boundaries," writes Lord. "It has roots. You may call it fantasy. I call it life."
"Lord's debut, a retelling of a Senegalese folktale, packs a great deal of subtly alluring storytelling into this small package. Paama flees her gluttonous husband, Ansige; two years later, he hires the master tracker Kwame to find her. Kwame reluctantly takes the job to finance his own wanderlust. These events draw the attention of the Indigo Lord, one of the powerful spirits called Djombi. He wielded the power of Chaos until it was taken from him and given to Paama, and he wants it back. An unnamed narrator, sometimes serious and often mischievous, spins delicate but powerful descriptions of locations, emotions, and the protagonists' great flaws and great strengths as they interact with family, poets, tricksters, sufferers of tragedy, and — of course — occasional moments of pure chaos. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The impish love child of Tutuola and Marquez. Utterly delightful." Nalo Hopkinson
"A great deal happens in the novel's relatively short course, but confusion is minimal because Lord has found the ideal voice for the narrator....This is one of those literary works of which it can be said that not a word should be changed." Booklist (starred review)
"Drawing on a multicultural mélange of narrative traditions — both oral and written — this Barbadian author surprises. She tap dances across the conventional, using it to make spirited sounds." Foreword Reviews
In this funny, fresh fable, a villager leaves her husband and finds she can manipulate chaos.
About the Author
Karen Lord was born in Barbados in 1968. She holds a science degree from the University of Toronto and a PhD in the sociology of religion from the University of Wales. She has taught physics, trained soldiers, and worked in the Foreign Service. This is her first novel.
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