Popisho : A Novel by Leone Ross


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“Winking between heavy topics—grief, love, addiction, colonialism—and an enthrallingly lush world ripe with possibility, this is magical realism at its most sensuous, both straightforward and metaphorical, immersive and awe-inducing in its breadth.

Magic (cors, to this book’s inhabitants) is an everyday reality, whether in a woman with an extra row of tastebuds; in a man who always knows what you need to eat; in the drunkenness caused by moths readily plucked from the sky. But it is not all light: vulvas can fall out, a healer cannot heal herself, birds can explode, ghosts can haunt you.

This is not a story in which to dive; this is a story that requires you enter slowly, the ripples and ruffles of its language building an entirely new world around you, submerging you.”



“Carves out a place in the canon. . . alongside Midnight’s Children and One Hundred Years of Solitude.” —Kirkus

Everyone in Popisho was born . . . with a little something… The local name for it was cors. Magic, but more than magic. A gift, nah? Yes. From the gods: a thing that felt so inexpressibly your own.

Somewhere far away– or maybe right nearby– lies an archipelago called Popisho. A place of stunning beauty and incorrigible mischief, destiny and mystery, it is also a place in need of change.

Xavier Redchoose is the macaenus of his generation, anointed by the gods to make each resident one perfect meal when the time is right. Anise, his long lost love, is on a march toward reckoning with her healing powers. The governor’s daughter, Sonteine, is getting married, her father demanding a feast out of turn. And graffiti messages from an unknown source are asking hard questions. A storm is brewing. Before it comes, before the end of the day, this wildly imaginative narrative will take us across the islands, their history, and into the lives of unforgettable characters.

Popisho is a masterful delight: a playful love story, a portrait of community, a boldly sensual meditation on desire and addiction, and a critique of the legacies of corruption and colonialism. Inspired by the author’s Jamaican homeland, inflected with rhythms and textures of an amalgam of languages, it is a dazzling, major work of fiction, in conversation with the likes of Gabriel García Márquez, Toni Morrison, and Arundhati Roy.

Popisho : A Novel by Leone Ross
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