2022 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Fiction

A NPR BOOKS WE LOVE 2021 Selection

A New York Times “Biggest New Books Coming Out in September” Selection · A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice Pick · A Guardian “50 Biggest Books of Autumn 2021” Selection · An Esquire “Best Books of Fall 2021” Selection · A Buzzfeed “Best Books Coming Out This Fall” Selection · A Bustle “Most Anticipated Books of September 2021” Selection  · A LitHub “22 Novels You Need to Read This Fall” Selection · A Kirkus Reviews “16 Best Books to Read in September” Selection · A Root September “PageTurner”

“This story shimmers. Shakes. Wails. Moves to rhythms long forgotten . . . in many ways: holy. [A] masterpiece.”—The New York Times Book Review

The epic rendering of a Black woman’s journey through slavery and liberation, set in 17th-century colonial Brazil; the return of a major voice in American literature.

First discovered and edited by Toni Morrison, Gayl Jones has been described as one of the great literary writers of the 20th century. Now, for the first time in over 20 years, Jones is ready to publish again. Palmares is the first of five new works by Gayl Jones to be published in the next two years, rewarding longtime fans and bringing her talent to a new generation of readers.

Intricate and compelling, Palmares recounts the journey of Almeyda, a Black slave girl who comes of age on Portuguese plantations and escapes to a fugitive slave settlement called Palmares. Following its destruction, Almeyda embarks on a journey across colonial Brazil to find her husband, lost in battle.

Her story brings to life a world impacted by greed, conquest, and colonial desire. She encounters a mad lexicographer, desperate to avoid military service; a village that praises a god living in a nearby cave; and a medicine woman who offers great magic, at a greater price.

Combining the author’s mastery of language and voice with her unique brand of mythology and magical realism, Jones reimagines the historical novel. The result is a sweeping saga spanning a quarter century, with vibrant settings and unforgettable characters, steeped in the rich oral tradition of its world. Of Gayl Jones, the New Yorker noted, “[Her] great achievement is to reckon with both history and interiority, and to collapse the boundary between them.” Like nothing else before it, Palmares embodies this gift.
Almeydita

Quilombo

A Leap Through Time and Spirit

The Narratives of Barcala Aprigio

The Book of Jaguara and the Apprentice

Curandeira

Almeyda Continues Her Journey, or the New Palmares
Gayl Jones was born in Kentucky in 1949. She attended Connecticut College and Brown University, and has taught at Wellesley College and the University of Michigan. Her landmark books include Corregidora, Eva’s Man, The Healing (a National Book Award finalist and New York Times Notable Book of the Year), Palmares (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction), and most recently, The Birdcatcher (National Book Award finalist).

About

2022 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Fiction

A NPR BOOKS WE LOVE 2021 Selection

A New York Times “Biggest New Books Coming Out in September” Selection · A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice Pick · A Guardian “50 Biggest Books of Autumn 2021” Selection · An Esquire “Best Books of Fall 2021” Selection · A Buzzfeed “Best Books Coming Out This Fall” Selection · A Bustle “Most Anticipated Books of September 2021” Selection  · A LitHub “22 Novels You Need to Read This Fall” Selection · A Kirkus Reviews “16 Best Books to Read in September” Selection · A Root September “PageTurner”

“This story shimmers. Shakes. Wails. Moves to rhythms long forgotten . . . in many ways: holy. [A] masterpiece.”—The New York Times Book Review

The epic rendering of a Black woman’s journey through slavery and liberation, set in 17th-century colonial Brazil; the return of a major voice in American literature.

First discovered and edited by Toni Morrison, Gayl Jones has been described as one of the great literary writers of the 20th century. Now, for the first time in over 20 years, Jones is ready to publish again. Palmares is the first of five new works by Gayl Jones to be published in the next two years, rewarding longtime fans and bringing her talent to a new generation of readers.

Intricate and compelling, Palmares recounts the journey of Almeyda, a Black slave girl who comes of age on Portuguese plantations and escapes to a fugitive slave settlement called Palmares. Following its destruction, Almeyda embarks on a journey across colonial Brazil to find her husband, lost in battle.

Her story brings to life a world impacted by greed, conquest, and colonial desire. She encounters a mad lexicographer, desperate to avoid military service; a village that praises a god living in a nearby cave; and a medicine woman who offers great magic, at a greater price.

Combining the author’s mastery of language and voice with her unique brand of mythology and magical realism, Jones reimagines the historical novel. The result is a sweeping saga spanning a quarter century, with vibrant settings and unforgettable characters, steeped in the rich oral tradition of its world. Of Gayl Jones, the New Yorker noted, “[Her] great achievement is to reckon with both history and interiority, and to collapse the boundary between them.” Like nothing else before it, Palmares embodies this gift.

Table of Contents

Almeydita

Quilombo

A Leap Through Time and Spirit

The Narratives of Barcala Aprigio

The Book of Jaguara and the Apprentice

Curandeira

Almeyda Continues Her Journey, or the New Palmares

Author

Gayl Jones was born in Kentucky in 1949. She attended Connecticut College and Brown University, and has taught at Wellesley College and the University of Michigan. Her landmark books include Corregidora, Eva’s Man, The Healing (a National Book Award finalist and New York Times Notable Book of the Year), Palmares (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction), and most recently, The Birdcatcher (National Book Award finalist).

Books for Black History Month

Join Penguin Random House Education in celebrating the contributions of Black authors, creators, and educators. In honor of Black History Month in February, we are highlighting stories about the history of Black America, the experiences of Black women, celebrations of Black music, and essential books by Black writers. Find more books from Penguin Random House:

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With Her Historical Epic Palmares, Gayl Jones Makes Her Long-Awaited Literary Return

It was a long wait before Gayl Jones broke her years of silence. When Toni Morrison first discovered her, she said “no novel about any Black woman could ever be the same after this” upon reading the manuscript for Corregidora. It was published in 1975 when Jones was twenty-six. She followed up her debut novel with Eva’s

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