New Orleans in the mid-nineteenth century is a city overflowing with white aristocrats, freed blacks, Creoles, and African slaves—a city that pulses with crowds, commerce, and the power and spectacle of the voodoo religion. At the center of it all is Marie Laveau, the notorious voodooienne, 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, and in Voodoo Dreams we have the spellbinding story of the woman behind the legend. Raised by her Grandmere in the Louisiana bayou, Marie ventures to New Orleans and begins a journey of self-discovery, hoping to find her lost Maman and to 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 Grandmere will not. As she falls under his spell, Marie is swept by John into a world of voodoo ceremonies, of drama and manipulation, and of sometimes terrifying power. A mesmerizing combination of history and storytelling, Voodoo Dreams marks the debut of an important new voice in American fiction.