“Filled with witty asides, trickster spiders, poets and one very wise woman, 'Redemption in Indigo' is a rare find that you could hand to your child, your mother or your best friend.” —The Washington Post
Karen Lord’s debut novel won the prestigious Frank Collymore Literary Prize in Barbados, the Mythopeic, Carl Brandon Parallax, and Crawford Awards. It is an intricately woven tale of adventure, magic, and the power of the human spirit.
Paama’s husband is a fool and a glutton. Bad enough that he followed her to her parents’ home in the village of Makende, now he’s disgraced himself by murdering livestock and stealing corn. When Paama leaves him for good, she attracts the attention of the undying ones—the djombi—who present her with a gift: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world. Unfortunately, a wrathful djombi with indigo skin believes this power should be his and his alone.
Bursting with humor and rich in fantastic detail, Redemption in Indigo is a clever, contemporary fairy tale that introduces readers to a dynamic new voice in Caribbean literature. Lord’s world of spider tricksters and indigo immortals, inspired in part by a Senegalese folk tale, will feel instantly familiar—but Paama’s adventures are fresh, surprising, and utterly original.
"Fantasy as a genre does not have boundaries," writes Lord. "It has roots. You may call it fantasy. I call it life.”
Lord's debut, a retelling of a Senegalese folktale, packs a great deal of subtly alluring storytelling into this small package. Paama flees her gluttonous husband, Ansige; two years later, he hires the master tracker Kwame to find her. Kwame reluctantly takes the job to finance his own wanderlust. These events draw the attention of the Indigo Lord, one of the powerful spirits called Djombi. He wielded the power of Chaos until it was taken from him and given to Paama, and he wants it back. An unnamed narrator, sometimes serious and often mischievous, spins delicate but powerful descriptions of locations, emotions, and the protagonists' great flaws and great strengths as they interact with family, poets, tricksters, sufferers of tragedy, and of course occasional moments of pure chaos.
Wow and Wow
If you are looking for excellent writing and creativity, your search is over. This short novel is wildly imaginative and a great read. Hell, I'm a little envious of Ms. Lord's skill and talent.