The Salt Roads
Lesbian and bisexual female protagonists. Historical fiction with elements of magical realism.
The spirit Ezili finds herself born and flitting between three distinct African women. She echoes other names, and learns her nature as she bears witness to the lives of these women. Mer is a plantation slave who is also the village healer, which affords her the luxury of being able to have a woman lover without scandal, even though she must share this woman with the woman's husband. In the mid-1800s, Jeanne Duval is the bawdy lover of struggling poet Charles Baudelaire. Her tumultuous life strains their love, but each is determined to keep their connection strong. Thais, also called Meritet, lives in ancient Egypt, where she works as a prostitute. She feels herself drawn to Jerusalem, but even she cannot guess what will happen there.
Through each of their lives, Nalo Hopkinson explores sexuality, personal freedom, spirituality, and transcendence in the lives of women with remarkable storytelling. While the threads don't cohere as clearly as in Godmother Night by Rachel Pollack or as potently as in The Female Man by Joanna Russ, The Salt Roads is a celebratory and sensual journey through African heritage.
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