THE ANTHONY C.WINKLER COLLECTION “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 humour all at once Marlon James
Trust the Darkness My Life as a Writer “How could I change an outcome that was set in concrete? . . . This meant plunging into the darkness . . .”
ANTHONY C. WINKLER
TRUST THE DARKNESS My Life as a Writer
Jamaican writer Anthony C. Winkler has been called “the unrivalled master of comic writing in the West Indies”. Many readers regard his novel The Lunatic as among the funniest books in any language. Trust the Darkness tells the story of Winkler’s development as a writer, and much more. The “enigmatic Winkler”, as one reviewer called him, reveals a troubled childhood. Expelled from school in Montego Bay at the age of fifteen, he spent the next few years getting increasingly frustrated: Winkler knew that he wanted to finish school, and to be a writer, but the future looked dark. Then his mother sent him to the USA; and in that country, after years of deprivation, he gradually found the means to fulfil his ambitions. Over the years Winkler has learnt to trust the darkness. Often, stumped in his effort to find a creative resolution in his writings, he has learnt to begin writing without knowing where he will end up, to plunge into the darkness and tap “at the roadbed of the narrative like a blind man with a cane searching for a sidewalk”. Teeming with the offbeat occurrences and character types found in his fiction, Trust the Darkness is a supremely entertaining chronicle of a life full of hardships and rewards, one often lived on the very edge of darkness.
Hardback | 456pp | 978-0-2300-2604-9
Crocodile Crocodile tells the story of Josephine Hemp, a simple but devout Catholic housemaid who feels abused and abandoned by God. To get revenge, she captures a consecrated host which, under the ancient Church doctrine of transubstantiation, is not merely a symbol of the Godhead, but the actual living God miraculously contained in what seems to the unbelieving naked eye a mere wafer. God, impregnated in the host, refuses to discuss his actions with his captor, provoking her to imprisoning the almighty. What follows is an ironic yet entirely logical series of madcap events as the parish priest, alerted to this sacrilege by a philandering Baptist minister, tries to liberate God from unlawful imprisonment. This sprightly fable exploring the incalculable extent to which believers are often driven by their faith, is played out with impeccable logic against the Jamaican countryside over which broods the menacing presence of a river dwelling crocodile. Its resolution will both surprise and delight. Hardback | 312pp | 978-1-4050-6373-9 T H E
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The Painted Canoe
Going Home To Teach
The Painted Canoe is the story of a poor, ugly Jamaican fisherman who falls asleep one night on a fishing trip and wakes up to find his small craft surrounded by the empty horizon with no land in sight. What follows is a heartfelt story of his fight for survival against the sea. In this first novel by outstanding Jamaican novelist, Anthony C. Winkler, fate is pitted against fate, irrationality against rationality – all amidst hilarious displays of eccentricity – as Zachariah determinedly battles against the odds for survival.
This autobiographical account of the year Winkler spent at a rural teacher training college flashes back to the Jamaica of the narrator’s childhood, recounting incidents and vignettes that shed light on the muddle of competing personalities, doctrines and images of self currently vying for centre stage in the tumult of Jamaican life. Emerging from the story are the hilariously drawn characters, contrasts between the Jamaican and the American outlook, and the lessons about the perils of superimposing a foreign ideology onto a native culture.
Paperback | 328pp | 978-1-4050-6880-2
Paperback | 328pp | 978-1-4050-6883-3
Baps, a Jamaican shopkeeper, drops dead unexpectedly one Saturday morning and finds himself being transported to heaven via a crowded minibus. To enter heaven, he discovers that he must crawl through a culvert in a canefield. Everything about paradise that he had been raised to expect and believe, he finds to be utterly and completely wrong. Baps tells the tale of paradise that suspiciously resembles Jamaica in many ways. The Duppy is a fantasy that challenges every preconception about death and the afterlife.
Aloysius is the village madman, tolerated by neighbours but forced to eke out a living by doing odd jobs while he uses the hospitable woodlands for shelter. He is starved of human companionship; instead he has running conversations with trees and plants. Then love, or a peculiar version of it, comes to Aloysius in the form of a solidly built German lady who has come to Jamaica to photograph the flora and fauna. Her name is Inga Schmidt. For Inga, this madman is a revelation. Lunatic or not, Aloysius is capable of satisfying Inga’s libido as frequently as she desires. But the romantic idyll is bruised when Inga invites a local butcher to join a ménage a trios, and shattered when the trio decides to burgle the house of Busha McIntosh…
Paperback | 184pp | 978-1-4050-6884-0
Dog War In a new and highly original take on Jamaican life, Winkler, the Caribbean’s unrivalled master of adult comedy, introduces the estimable Precious, a large-bottomed, meltingly juicy Christian Jamaican woman with unshakeable ideas on the right and proper behaviour for Christian Jamaican women, their husbands, and men and dogs in general. But when her husband dies unexpectedly, Precious finds her ideas on proper behaviour assailed on every side. Precious spends many hours under her bed, checking proprieties with Jamaican Jesus, and on top of her bed, checking improprieties with the factotum Mannish, who is suffering the penalties of stealing camels in a previous life. Obliged to get a job as a dog-maid, however, Precious is outraged to discover that most improper of all are the attentions of her mistress’s preposterously pampered pet, Riccardo. Hardback | 200pp | 978-1-4050-7064-5
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Paperback | 256pp | 978-1-4050-6881-9
The Great Yacht Race Murders, scandals and the pursuit of forbidden pleasures may help to while the time away, but for Montego Bay’s elite in the 1950s nothing is as important as the annual yacht race. Winkler interweaves the lives of five Montegonians: Fitzpatrick the barrister, Angwin the magistrate, O’Hara the hotelier, Biddle the reporter — all of whom will eventually compete in the race — and Father Huck, the American priest who ministers over them and tries his best to understand them, while battling with his own conflicts. In so doing, Winkler provides us with an affectionately satirical, hilarious view of a paranoid, hypocritical and eccentric colonialist society, during the twilight of its influence. Paperback | 432pp | 978-1-4050-6882-6