Baseball-obsessed author J. P. Kinsella delivers new fiction after 15 years. Butterfly Winter is set in Courteguay, an island near the Dominican Republic. As in the Dominican Republic the citizens of Courteguay are baseball fanatics who dream of becoming professional players in America. The novel follows twin brothers who migrate to America but remain vulnerable to the vagaries of life back home. One twin is an expert pitcher, but he insists on pitching only to his brother, a poor hitter. These brothers and their fellow quirky characters create a layered world full of shifting mores and political mayhem. Kinsella again employs magical realism to moving effect. Narrator Zach Villa’s arresting voice lures the listener into trusting this grim yet whimsical dreamscape.
Butterfly Winter, W.P. Kinsella's first novel in 15 years, is the story of Julio and Esteban Pimental, twins born in the Caribbean country of Courteguay, a lush and enchanted but impoverished enclave on the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic where time moves at its own pace and reality is open to question. The brothers are destined to play ball in America, and to shape the history of their baseball-crazed homeland. They mature quickly and by the age of 10 they leave home for the Major Leagues. Julio is a winning pitcher who, much to the chagrin of any team that signs him, will only throw to his catcher brother, who is a very weak hitter.
As they pursue their baseball dreams, events in their homeland, including political brutalities and the outlawing of baseball, continue to shape their lives. They are monitored by the Wizard, a mysterious figure who controls events behind the scenes. In his last years, the Wizard tells the story of the twins, their family and their lovers to a skeptical gringo journalist.
Butterfly Winter is a magical literary romp that includes a diabolical chiropractor, a romance blessed by butterflies, and a deep political undercurrent that unites the wealthy North with the baseball-loving, talent-laden but oppressed and deprived South.
Zach Villa masterfully narrates an off beat WP Kinsella novel. Butterfly Winter blends the magical baseball and whimsical nature of the 'first nation' threads of Kinsella's prior writings.