Popisho is many things, notably a fictional independent island nation where inhabitants possess magical traits and the supernatural is natural. Popisho, the new novel from Leone Ross, is magical and strange and vividly naturalistic. Mostly, though, Popisho is alive. Vitality and sensuousness burst from the pages; the sights, smells, tastes and sensations Ross conjures through her assured and unfussy prose are dizzying, intoxicating. The magic and mythology of the island are masterfully constructed and revealed and never overtake the distinctive beating hearts within the cast of memorable characters. A fantastical, uproarious examination of the costs and inheritances of colonialism, Popisho is, at its core, a lively story of human needs and appetites.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April 2021. Hardcover. New. Item #246296 Bold, iridescent... Dazzling and shocking... Ross's lyrical, rhythmic writing is something to be savored... [Her] voice sings out loud and pure.
--Eowyn Ivey, The New York Times Book Review
An uproarious, sensual novel, Leone Ross's Popisho conjures a world where magic is everywhere, food is fate, politics are broken, and love awaits.
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, still hasn't come into her cors, but her corrupt father is demanding the macaenus make a feast for her wedding. Meanwhile, 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, through their history, and into the lives of unforgettable characters. Leone Ross's 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.
Bold, iridescent... Dazzling and shocking... Ross's lyrical, rhythmic writing is something to be savored... [Her] voice sings out loud and pure.