A radical landmark in Caribbean literature, reissued with a new foreword by Jamaica Kincaid to mark Wilson Harris' centenary: this visionary masterpiece tracing the dreamlike voyage of a riverboat crew through the jungle defies definition sixty years on.
I dreamt I awoke with one dead seeing eye and one living closed eye ...
A crew of men are embarking on a voyage up a turbulent river through the rainforests of Guyana. Donne, their wild, domineering leader is obsessed with hunting for a mysterious woman and exploiting indigenous people as plantation labour. But their expedition is plagued by tragedies, haunted by drowned ghosts: spectres of the crew themselves, inhabiting a blurred shadowland between life and death. As their journey into the interior - their own hearts of darkness - deepens, it assumes a spiritual dimension, guiding them towards a new destination: the Palace of the Peacock ...
A modernist fever dream; hallucinatory prose poem; modern myth; elegy to victims of colonial conquest: Wilson Harris' visionary masterpiece has defied definition for over sixty years, and is reissued for a new generation of readers.
'An exhilarating experience ... Makes visions real and reality visions ... Genius.' Jamaica Kincaid
'The Guyanese William Blake . [Such] poetic intensity.' Angela Carter
'One of the great originals ... Visionary ... Dazzlingly illuminating.' Guardian
'Staggering ... Brilliant and terrifying.' The Times
'Amazing ... Masterly ... Near-miraculous.' Observer
'Perhaps the most inimitable [writer] produced in the English-speaking Caribbean.' Fred D'Aguiar
'An extraordinary writer ... Courageous and visionary ... It speaks to us in tongues.' Pauline Melville