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The year is l854. In Paris, Francisco Solano -- the future dictator of Paraguay -- begins his courtship of the young, beautiful Irish courtesan Ella Lynch with a poncho, a Paraguayan band, and ahorse named Mathilde. Ella follows Franco to Asunción and reigns there as his mistress. Isolated and estranged in this new world, she embraces her lover's ill-fated imperial dream -- one fueled by a heedless arrogance that will devastate all of Paraguay.
With the urgency of the narrative, rich and intimate detail, and a wealth of skillfully layered characters, The News from Paraguay recalls the epic novels of Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa.
Born in Paris, LILY TUCK is the author of four previous novels: Interviewing Matisse, or the Woman Who Died Standing Up; The Woman Who Walked on Water; Siam, or the Woman Who Shot a Man, which was nominated for the 2000 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction; and The News from Paraguay, winner of the National Book Award. She is also the author of the biography Woman of Rome: A Life of Elsa Morante. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker and are collected in Limbo and Other Places I Have Lived. Lily Tuck divides her time between Maine and New York City.
“Tuck’s prose is elegant, the subject well researched.”
-New York Times Book Review
“Compelling…the stuff that good fiction is made of: complex characters and an intricate narrative.”
“The perfect setting for Tuck’s dark wit.”
-The New Yorker
“The episodic style achieves many lovely moments…images are so vivid you can almost smell them.”
-Washington Post Book World
“THE NEWS FROM PARAGUAY captures the physical beauty of an exotic land in Tuck’s characteristically exact, evocative prose.”
“Elegant …the author’s research is impressive … a rich and rewarding read.”
“Impressively researched, lushly written… a splendid realization if its rich subject and Tuck’s best so far.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“A gripping read.”
“Decorous detail and vivid imagery.”
-Los Angeles Times
“Vivid, intriguing . . . Tuck brings to life the lush, sensual, and brutal world of 19th-century Paraguay.”
“Reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez ... Tuck brings characters fully to life.”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer