The Duppy

The Duppy

by Anthony C. Winkler
     
 

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"Every country (if she’s lucky) gets the Mark Twain she deserves, and Winkler is ours, bristling with savage Jamaican wit, heart-stopping compassion, and jaw-dropping humor all at once."—Marlon James, author of John Crow’s Devil

With his characteristic outrageousness, Anthony C. Winkler defies taboos and subverts conventional thinking in

Overview

"Every country (if she’s lucky) gets the Mark Twain she deserves, and Winkler is ours, bristling with savage Jamaican wit, heart-stopping compassion, and jaw-dropping humor all at once."—Marlon James, author of John Crow’s Devil

With his characteristic outrageousness, Anthony C. Winkler defies taboos and subverts conventional thinking in this entertaining, thought-provoking, and ultimately uplifting novel.

Anthony C. Winkler was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1942, and is widely recognized as one of the island’s finest and most hilarious exports. His Caribbean classic The Lunatic (Akashic Books) was turned into a feature film, and his last novel, Dog War, was published in May 2007 by Akashic. He lives with his wife in Atlanta, Georgia.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Jamaican-born novelist Winkler recounts the journey of Taddeus Augustus Baps, a 47-year old Jamaican man who becomes a "duppy," or spirit, after he dies. Shocked by his unexpected death, Baps discovers he's unable to touch anything earthly and quickly surmises his new status will enable him to "overhear scandal and rumor, eavesdrop on backbiting and tale-telling" and witness men "grind" on their housekeepers. But before Baps can have any fun, a deceased thief arrives to escort him to heaven, where nothing measures up to Baps's expectations, especially the minibus-not chariot-trip to the Promised Land. Once in heaven, Baps meets Miss B, a country general store proprietress who takes him as her lover until she's called to another duty. After her departure, a perennially cranky Baps takes control of her shop and struggles to get the other heavenly villagers to respect him. In addition, Baps befriends God, bickers with a conflicted American philosopher and travels in an effort to expand his otherworldly horizons. Winkler (Dog War) earns a lot of chuckles as he pokes fun at cultural stereotypes and the afterlife. (Mar.)

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Library Journal

One Saturday morning, Jamaican shopkeeper Baps dies. He watches in horror as his maid and gardener empty the money from his pockets and then discovers that he has to catch a minibus. The bus takes him to a culvert, and when he crawls through, he is in Heaven. Heaven is not what you think, however; in fact, it is a lot like the Jamaica he just left except that you get whatever you want. Soon he meets a woman who runs a shop, and they spend the afternoon having sex. Helping to run the shop, Baps is disturbed to find that they don't charge for merchandise in Heaven and decides to set some prices; people have no problem paying because there is a money tree out back. Finally, Baps meets God and takes a trip to American Heaven, which is quite different from Jamaican Heaven; the people there are upset that there is no hell and have been after God to create one. Winkler (The Lunatic) uses a Jamaican accent to turn Dante's Paradiso on its head. Although there is not much depth here, the comic and philosophical narrative is stimulating, and the critique of religion is brought to a clever and positive resolution. Recommended.
—Joshua Cohen

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933354330
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Publication date:
03/01/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
175
Sales rank:
734,164
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Winkler was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1942. His first novel, The Painted Canoe, was published in 1984 to critical acclaim. This was followed by The Lunatic (1987), The Great Yacht Race (1992), Going Home to Teach (1995) and The Duppy (1997). A short story collection, The Annihilation of Fish and Other Stories, was published in 2004 by Macmillan.

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