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Palmares hails the return of a major voice in 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 two decades.

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.

Reviews

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
A literary giant, and one of my absolute favourite writers
Tayari Jones, author of AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE