cover image The Duppy

The Duppy

Anthony C. Winkler, . . Akashic, $13.95 (175pp) ISBN 978-1-933354-33-0

Jamaican-born novelist Winkler recounts the journey of Taddeus Augustus Baps, a 47-year old Jamaican man who becomes a “duppy,” or spirit, after he dies. Shocked by his unexpected death, Baps discovers he's unable to touch anything earthly and quickly surmises his new status will enable him to “overhear scandal and rumor, eavesdrop on backbiting and tale-telling” and witness men “grind” on their housekeepers. But before Baps can have any fun, a deceased thief arrives to escort him to heaven, where nothing measures up to Baps's expectations, especially the minibus—not chariot—trip to the Promised Land. Once in heaven, Baps meets Miss B, a country general store proprietress who takes him as her lover until she's called to another duty. After her departure, a perennially cranky Baps takes control of her shop and struggles to get the other heavenly villagers to respect him. In addition, Baps befriends God, bickers with a conflicted American philosopher and travels in an effort to expand his otherworldly horizons. Winkler (Dog War ) earns a lot of chuckles as he pokes fun at cultural stereotypes and the afterlife. (Mar.)