Voodoo Dreams is the spellbinding story of the woman behind the legend.
New Orleans in the mid-nineteenth century is a city overflowing with white aristos, black creoles, and African Slaves, a city that pulses with crowds, with commerce and with the power and spectacle of the voodoo religion. At the center of the ritual is Marie Laveau, the notorious voodoiene, worshipped and feared by blacks and whites alike. Marie’s followers claimed that she walked on water and sucked poison from a snake’s jowls, that she raised the dead and murdered two men.
Raised by her Grandmère in the Louisiana bayou, Marie ventures to New Orleans and begins a journey of self-discovery, hoping to find her lost Maman and understand the visions that haunt her dreams. Instead, she runs headlong into the brutality of slavery and oppression and into the arms of John, the voodoo doctor who promises to teach her what Grandmère will not. As she falls under his spell, John sweeps Marie into a world of voodoo ceremonies, of drama and manipulation, and of sometimes terrifying power. A mesmerizing combination of history and story telling, Voodoo Dreams was Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes first novel and a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.
Honors for Voodoo Dreams:
Voodoo Dreams was featured in WomenWriters.net Special Issue:
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:
- Hearing, Writing, and Reading Voodoo: Cultural Memory in Jewell Parker Rhodes’s Voodoo Dreams and Voodoo Season
- Spirited Women: Conjure and Female Empowerment in Jewell Parker Rhodes’ Voodoo Dreams and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon
- Women & Voodoo: A Conversation with Jewell Parker Rhodes with Kameelah Martin Samuel
Praise for Voodoo Dreams:
“A character of vast dimension and feminine power…. We are as consumed by Rhodes’ sublime eloquence and vision as Marie Laveau is by her heritage and indomitable spirit.”
– Booklist (starred review)
“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
Purchase Voodoo Dreams:
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