Palace of the Peacock by Wilson Harris
Palace of the Peacock, the first of Wilson Harris's many novels, was published in 1960, just one year after his arrival in Britain from Guyana. In a richly metaphorical style, the book sets out the themes Wilson continues to develop in his writing to this day: the ability of the imaginative consciousness to create worlds where disparate cultures and traditions are fused. Donne, an ambitious skipper, leads a multiracial crew up an unnamed river in the rainforest. He is searching for the indigenous people of the forest to exploit as cheap labour on his plantation. But the journey is beset with obstacles, and as the crew progress and their relationships develop, it takes on a more spiritual significance, culminating with the crew and the forest folk finding sanctuary and resolution in the visionary Palace of the Peacock.