Palace of the Peacock – Wilson Harris



The visionary masterpiece, tracing a riverboat crew’s dreamlike jungle voyage …

‘An exhilarating experience … Makes visions real and reality visions … Genius.’ Jamaica Kincaid

‘A masterpiece: I love this book for its language, adventure and wisdoms.’ Monique Roffey

‘Revel in the inviolate, ever-deepening mystery of Wilson Harris’s work.’ Jeet Thayil

‘The Guyanese William Blake . Such poetic intensity.’ Angela Carter

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.

Their domineering leader, Donne, is the spirit of a conquistador, 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; prose poem; modern myth; elegy to victims of colonial conquest: Wilson Harris’ masterpiece has defied definition for over sixty years, and is reissued for a new generation of readers.

‘One of the great originals … Visionary … Dazzlingly illuminating.’ Guardian

‘Amazing … Masterly … Near-miraculous.’ Observer

‘Staggering … Both brilliant and terrifying.’ The Times

‘The most inimitable [writer] produced in the English-speaking Caribbean.’ Fred D’Aguiar

‘Extraordinary … Courageous and visionary … It speaks to us in tongues.’ Pauline Melville

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ISBN: 9780571368044 Category: Tags: ,