Voodoo Dreams

An interview with Jewell Parker Rhodes

Honors for Voodoo Dreams:

1993 Selected for Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” series

Recorded Books, LLC, 2002 (Audio Distinction/ Earphones Award)


“Bewitching…a character of vast dimension and feminine power.”

– Booklist

“An overwhelming journey navigated with skill and imagination…captures the dazzle and showmanship if voodoo.”

– Los Angeles Times

“I had a great time reading Voodoo Dreams. Marie is the most interesting character in American culture. Jewell Parker Rhodes did a wonderful job painting the possible picture of the Queen of Voodoo. I loved it.”

– Whoopi Goldberg

“Voodoo Dreams is filled with searching…and mystery. Jewell Parker Rhodes has cast a spell of a novel; each page contains language as vibrating as the city of New Orleans. If Marie Laveau still lives it is because Rhodes has been touched by her spirit. This book will make a believer out of everyone.”

– E. Ethelbert Miller, Director, African American Resource Center, Howard University

“This first novel is full of tangible atmosphere and vivid detail. It is a fevered, gripping dream.”

— Susan Straight, author of I’ve Been in Sorrow’s Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots


In Voodoo Dreams, Marie Laveau invents her self; cut off from her mother, from her past, and from her faith, with only her visions to guide her, Marie grows into the mantle of her power through great pain and hardship. In many ways Marie’s journey is an allegory for my own life. My art, my writing became my avenue for exploring what it means to be black, what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a mother.

How I came to write Voodoo Dreams >


Morgen La Civita has recently written a song inspired by Voodoo Dreams. The song, Pretty Marie, is part of the CD compilation “Love Song to New Orleans” which donates portions of its proceeds to various Katrina relief causes.

More information about the compilation album and its influences can be found at the Love Song to New Orleans website.

You can listen to the song below. To download it, or if you cannot play back the embedded file, please click here.

Visit Morgen La Civita’s website »

See the WomenWriters.net August 2008 Special Issue on “Serving The Spirits: Women & Voodoo in Literature and Popular Culture”, including the following on Voodoo Dreams:

Carey Weeks’ painting Shreveport Celebrates The Written Word — (click image to open full-size in new window)

See 2 scenes from VQ Dance Productions’ Voodoo Queen at Jewell’s YouTube site