We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349016863

Price: £9.99

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

A FINALIST FOR THE 2022 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

‘A fascinating meditation on Black female creativity from the author of Corregidora and Palmares . . . Vivid characters shimmer through the pages’ Suzi Feay, GUARDIAN

‘I am living on the white-washed island of Ibiza with my friend Catherine Shuger, a sculptor who has been declared legally insane, and her husband, Ernest. Standing on the terrace, sheltered in the smell of oranges and eucalyptus, washed in sunlight, you’d swear this was a paradise. But to tell the truth the place is full of dangers. You see, Catherine sometimes tries to kill her husband. It has been this way for years . . . My name’s Amanda Wordlaw. Wonderful name for a writer, isn’t it? . . . I guess I’m sort of a choice companion for the Shugers – professional watcher and listener that I am. It’s like they need someone else to witness the shit, the spectacle they make of themselves.’

‘Gayl Jones constructs a novel that is part mystery, part thriller, and wholly captivating . . . Jones is an outstanding writer . . . A shining segment of the American literary canon has been restored’ Kate Webb, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

‘With the plush scenery of a travelogue, the misshapen soul of a noir and the anarchic spirit of a trickster tale, this novel revolves around three Black American expatriates . . . Catherine is suspicious of Amanda’s intentions toward her husband, but, in Jones’s fearsome, fractured narrative, her potential for violence seems no more alarming than anything else that might befall these social outsiders’ NEW YORKER (Best books of 2022)

What's Inside

Read More Read Less

Reviews

Gayl Jones is a literary legend . . . She has reimagined the lives of Black women across North, South and Central America . . . in a way no other writer has done
Yara Rodrigues Fowler, Guardian
Gayl Jones constructs a novel that is part mystery, part thriller, and wholly captivating . . . Jones is an outstanding writer . . . a shining segment of the American literary canon has been restored
Kate Webb, Times Literary Supplement
With the plush scenery of a travelogue, the misshapen soul of a noir, and the anarchic spirit of a trickster tale, this novel revolves around three Black American expatriates.The narrator, Amanda, is a divorced travel writer invited to the island of Ibiza by her friend Catherine, a prize-winning sculptor, who "sometimes tries to kill her husband." Catherine is suspicious of Amanda's intentions toward her husband, but, in Jones's fearsome, fractured narrative, her potential for violence seems no more alarming than anything else that might befall these social outsiders.
New Yorker (Best books of 2022)
After suffering the author's absence for far too long, we can rejoice at her return
Robert Jones, Jr, New York Times
A literary giant, and one of my absolute favourite writers
Tayari Jones
A marvel about art, love, mental health, and motherhood
Imani Perry, author of SOUTH TO AMERICA
Brilliant and incendiary, Jones's pairing of tragedy with dark humour cuts to the bone
Oprah Daily
The remarkable latest release by acclaimed novelist and poet Jones . . . Her prose is captivating, at moments coolly observational and at others profoundly intimate; the delicate balance is the mark of a truly great storyteller. An intriguing, tightly crafted, and insightful meditation on creativity and complicated friendships
Booklist, Starred Review
A fascinating meditation on Black female creativity from the author of Corregidora and Palmares . . . Vivid characters shimmer through the pages
Suzi Feay, Guardian
Jones continues her marvelous run after last year's Pulitzer finalist Palmares with the gloriously demented story of an artist who keeps trying to kill her husband . . . Jones, implicitly defiant, draws deeply from classic and global literature - a well-placed reference to Cervantes's windmills leaves the reader's head spinning. And like one of Amanda's inventive novels, this one ends on a surprising and playful turn. It ought to be required reading
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Jones' mercurial, often inscrutable body of work delivers yet another change-up to readers' expectations
Kirkus Reviews
This is a brilliant and unsparing examination of the burdens we place on friendship and marriage, the way that creative genius is misperceived as madness, the clumsy way mental health is addressed, the scourge of racism, and the alchemy of folklore and legacy bound in the secrets we hide
Boston Globe