OVERRIDE

The Way to Paradise

A Novel

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated by Natasha Wimmer

Picador

A New York Times Notable Book

In 1844, the famous socialist agitator and memoirist Flora Tristán embarked on a tour of France to campaign for workers' and women's rights. In 1891, her grandson Paul Gauguin set sail for Tahiti, determined to escape civilization and paint primitive masterpieces. Flora died before her grandson was born, but their travels and obsessions unfold side by side in this deft, utterly absorbing novel from one of Latin America's most celebrated writers.

Flora, the illegitimate child of a wealthy Peruvian father and a French mother, grows up in poverty and, after fleeing a brutal husband, journeys to Peru to demand her inheritance. On her return, she makes her name as a popular writer and a champion of the downtrodden, setting herself the arduous task of touring the French countryside to recruit members for her Workers' Union. Paul, a struggling painter and stubborn visionary, abandons his wife and five children for life in the South Seas. Although he has his pick of teenage Tahitian lovers and paints some of his greatest works, Paul's dreams of paradise are poisoned by syphilis, the stifling forces of French colonialism, and a chronic lack of funds.

Affectionate, astute, and quietly caustic, this double portrait is a rare study in passion and ambition, and of the obstinate pursuit of greatness in the face of illness and death. The Way to Paradise is a worthy successor to Mario Vargas Llosa's The Feast of the Goat, which "pushed the boundaries of the traditional historical novel [in] a book of harrowing power and lasting emotional resonance" (The New York Times).

REVIEWS

Praise for The Way to Paradise

"The bold, dynamic and endlessly productive imagination of Vargas Llosa, one of the writing giants of our time, is something truly to be admired...In this, the master novelist's first truly international novel, the canvases light up with the glow of his passion."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"Oddly affecting...an engrossing, sometimes horrifying image of social conditions in France [from] one of the great Latin American novelists."
--The New York Times Book Review

"With matchless empathy and insight, the great author analyzes two contrasting quests for the ideal...It's hard to believe, but Vargas Llosa just keeps getting better. What are the Swedes waiting for?"
--Kirkus Reviews

"Through his characters Vargas Llosa [captures] much of the liberationist spirit of the 19th century, the great romantic desire to escape the cramping bonds of tradition, whatever the cost. His stylistic virtuosity with authorial voice commands ambition."
--Washington Post

"Masterful....Vargas Llosa's florid but exacting style is mesmerizing, as is his choice of two characters whose drastically opposing belief systems only make their rare moments of connection more sublime."
--Time Out New York

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated by Natasha Wimmer

  • MARIO VARGAS LLOSA was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010 “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat.” Peru’s foremost writer, he has been awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world’s most distinguished literary honor, and the Jerusalem Prize. His many works include The Feast of the Goat, The Bad Girl, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The War of the End of the World, and The Storyteller. He lives in London.
  • Mario Vargas Llosa Morgana Vargas Llosa
BACK

BUY THE BOOK

Available Formats and Book Details

The Way to Paradise

A Novel

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated by Natasha Wimmer

Nobel Prize For Literature

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

BACK

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

BACK