Item description for The Duppy by Anthony C. Winkler...
"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 humor all at once."-Marlon James, author of John Crow's Devil
With his characteristic outrageousness, Anthony C. Winkler defies taboos and subverts conventional thinking in this entertaining, thought-provoking, and ultimately uplifting novel.
Anthony C. Winkler was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1942, and is widely recognized as one of the island's finest and most hilarious exports. His Caribbean classic The Lunatic (Akashic Books) was turned into a feature film, and his last novel, Dog War, was published in May 2007 by Akashic. He lives with his wife in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 7.5" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2008
Publisher Akashic Books
ISBN 193335433X ISBN13 9781933354330
Availability 1 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2016 01:32.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Anthony C. Winkler
Born February 25, 1942, in Kingston, Jamaica West Indies, Anthony C. Winkler was educated in Jamaica at Excelsior College, Mount Alvernia Academy, and Cornwall College, the last two being in Montego Bay. He was also educated in the United States at Citrus Community College, Glendora, California (AA degree 1965). Winkler taught briefly at Pasadena City College and for a year at Moneague Teachers College in Saint Anne, Jamaica, an experience chronicled in GOING HOME TO TEACH (1995). From 1968 to 1975 Winkler had a sales territory as a bookman, covering Southern California, Las Vegas, and Utah for Appleton Century Crofts textbook publishers, and later Southern California and Arizona for Scott, Foresman. In 1969 he decided he could write textbooks as well as anyone and through a chance meeting with the sales representative of another company, he submitted the manuscript POETRY AS SYSTEM and was offered a contract for its publication. Eventually, he met Jo Ray McCuen-Metherell and the two became textbook writers and collaborators. Over the years they have produced more than a dozen textbooks, most on rhetoric and writing, which have survived through multiple editions. In 1975 Winkler quit his job as a bookman and became a full-time freelance writer. In addition to his textbooks, his body of work includes the following: THE PAINTED CANOE (novel 1983); THE LUNATIC (novel 1987); THE GREAT YACHT RACE (novel 1992); GOING HOME TO TEACH (autobiography 1995); THE DUPPY (novel 1997); THE ANNIHILATION OF FISH AND OTHER STORIES (short story collection 2004); DOG WAR (novel 2006); TRUST THE DARKNESS: MY LIFE AS A WRITER (autobiography 2008); THE HIPPOPOTAMUS CARD (play, produced by WDR German radio network); THE BURGLARY (play. premiered in Toronto July 7, 2005); THE LUNATIC (movie, filmed in 1991); THE ANNIHILATION OF FISH (movie, 1999); and BOB MARLEY, AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT BY HIS MOTHER (biography, 1996, with Cedella Booker, Marley's mother).
Anthony C. Winkler currently resides in Atlanta, in the state of Georgia.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Duppy?
Insanely funny and refreshing Sep 6, 2008
My wife and I both laughed a lot reading The Duppy. I great satire on religions (mainly US Christianity).
Fast, fun read.
Earthy Warm-Hearted Jamaican Satire Jan 21, 2008
Originally published ten years ago, this short novel by Jamaican writer Winkler is a both a slapstick imagining of heaven and a wry look at the nature of god and faith. The title is Jamaican patois for "ghost" or "spirit" and that's exactly what middle-aged village shopkeeper Taddeus Augustus Baps becomes at the beginning of the story. Shocked by his sudden demise, he wanders his village until another duppy shows up to escort him to heaven -- which is not reached by floating up to the pearly gates, but by taking a minibus out to a canefield, and then crawling through a drainage pipe...
This more or less sets the tone for the rest of the book, in which Baps discovers that each country has its own Heaven, and in the Jamaican version, people basically get to do what they love (which in Baps' case means administering order to a village shop quite similar to his old Earthly one) -- including more or less unlimited sex (rendered in the patois as "grinding"). Baps managed to befriend God (who takes the form of a lightning bug), and together they travel to America with a wandering duppy atheist philosopher (who thinks everything he's seeing is in his head).
On this trip, Baps learns that Heaven can take many different forms, as the ultra-pious American duppys wander as robed shepherds to flocks of fat sheet, fed by thrice-daily showers of manna. Perhaps most disturbing to Baps is the absence of grinding in the American heaven, as men and women have their respective genitalia ("hoods" and "pum-pums") "caulked" shut! The Americans are also quite aggrieved (as is Baps to a certain extent) that there is no Hell and that sinners and saints live side by side with no advantages given to those who lived a pious corporeal life. This leads to some discussion as to why this is so, and moreover, why God permits bad things to happen to people. Baps is granted the power to create a world as an experiment and finds that it's not quite so easy to remove pain and misery from humanity.
The overall message is a gently satirical and warm-hearted poke at both Jamaican and American societies, all wrapped up in a very earthy package, with plenty of discussion of grinding, batties, hoods, and pum-pums. Those not already familiar with Jamaican patois may need to refer to one of the many online patois dictionaries to get into the flow, but it's not that thick. A simple glossary at the front would have been a nice addition to the U.S. edition of the book.
Hilarious Oct 8, 2007
This is the funniest book I can recall. A delightfully irreverent (and therefore challenging) account of the death and afterlife of a Jamaican shopkeeper, and his relationship with God in a very Jamaican heaven. It is full of insights into Jamaican life, and a humorous critique of American Puritanism too. There is a lot of sex in this heaven - just as there is in Jamaica - but what else is there to do in paradise? Would you want to go without it for eternity?
The Redemption of Baps Jun 13, 2003
Anthony Winkler is a very wise man. At first I thought I was going to HATE this book because Winkler was using the term "ole neygar" (the verbal equivalent of nigger) throughout the book. Sure, as a white Jamaican and therefore an insider within the culture, Winkler has the RIGHT to use the term, but the term could never be use to describe him, so the words hurt. But then as I read the book, I realized the compassion and I came to the realization that ONLY Winkler could have written this book. ONLY Winkler because he knows the hurt that these words can cause. A black Jamaican would have been too afraid to use the term for it would sting, and an outsider would never understand the complexity of the relationships to be able to write such a healthful, satirical and funny novel. And it is an extremely funny novel. Winkler lays bare our deepest foibles and fears and reveals our greatest strength as a people who can embrace absurdity and joy at the deepest, most transcendent level. He also shows that we are capable of the most sublime religious thought. Old neygar could have hurt me. But I gave up my hurt and laughed. Laughed at the absurdity of Baps' condition, my island, my people, my hurt. Winkler forced me to realize that any book worth its salt, MUST hurt you in some way or it's not worth reading. Anything else is pure escapism, and if you want that, watch television. A book that hurts you forces you to give up your prejudices and biases and the hurts that turn you into a prisoner of your own past and prejudices. He also made me realize why I've never been happy in America-a land of happiness, but no joy. The American heaven is a mirthless one for it cannot, will not affirm life or joy. The Duppy is a book to be read by EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE and at ANY TIME. Congratulations, Mr. Winkler!
Disappointing Feb 24, 2002
This book like Winkler's earlier work, The Lunatic, appears intended to provide some comic relief. The Lunatic was unbelievably funny and a near accurate depiction of a Jamaican village mad man. However this book was just not funny and certainly not worth the ... asked for it in one of the airport stores at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. In the Lunatic the sexual overtones were ourrighty funny and contextually comfortable. While I am by no means a prude, here I found the sexual overtones to be overdone and lewd. A good tale should get the reader involved to where he enters the story while he is reading. Up to chapter 5, I became somewhat involved with the story, always anticipating that it would pick up, but it never really did. Chapter 25 to the end was endurable, but too much was lost in between Chapters 6 and 24.
In terms of depicting the funny and sometimes scarey elements of Jamaican duppy storytelling, this work in no way captured any element of that tradition. The closest we came to this was the minibus ride where Hopeton manipulated the driver's actions. I imagine that the author was trying to use his creative licence to approach this subject from a different angle. It did not work well.
Nevertheless, Winkler is a wonderful writer as evidenced by the Lunatic which I continue to reread ever so often.