Jimmy Duppy is best described as a contemporary literary novel. On St. Estes, an imaginary resort island in the Caribbean, the breaking of a post office window during a spontaneous, riot-cum-junk-a-noo parade, becomes a clusterfuck of misperceptions and mistaken intentions when the locals rally around the principal perp, a layabout island boy named Jimmy Duppy. And when the very angry postmaster swears out a warrant and calls in the United States Federal Marshals, Jimmy's stature grows, and his appeal as an elusive Robin Hood is made corporeal by his outlandish, natty silhouette, the silhouette of a Ras Tafari dreadlock hairdo that rivals the rainforest in opulence and photo magnetism. On an island that makes its money through the tourism industry, Jimmy becomes a Che of supreme importance to the local economy--there are Duppy tee-shirts, wigs, cocktails and culinary creations--and the focal point to which the diverse and irreverent locals dedicate themselves to protecting. The U.S. Marshals arrive, and the search for Jimmy Duppy becomes a stumbling, desperate, hilarious quest through a gauntlet of islander shenanigans, until the wig factory used to manufacture Duppy-ras Do's is accidentally found in the woods and thought to be a drug lab for processing cocaine. Enter the Feds in all their raiment--the Coast Guard blockades the island while DEA, FBI and EPA agents swarm in--and the island-wide search becomes Operation Virgin Thrust, a federal probe investigating supposed cartel operations and pernicious drug use on a tiny island that no one's ever heard of. In a sort of Last Supperish ceremony, Jimmy is finally betrayed, his head is shaved, the myth collapses, and he turns himself into the Feds. Then, in an intensely visual finale, the entire population of St. Estes, as well as many visiting tourists, shave their heads in sympathetic solidarity and gather at the ferry dock for his send off and a celebration of life. At the end, the narrator, who is Jimmy's adoptive father, reveals himself as the Judas who sheared the magic locks and cooked the golden goose. Combining high comedy with acerbic social commentary, Mr. Waid has created a quirky and eclectic cast of characters who stage a beautifully written and constructed, highly entertaining and unforgettable novel. Read the prologue and chapter one.
Mr. Waid is currently a prisoner in a federal work camp in Florida. A non-violent smuggler, he was part of an illegal inmate swap. To read more of his work, and some of the incredibly fucked up things that go on behind bars in this country, visit www.jimmyduppy.com and from there access kay lee's site.