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ISBN: 9780312424039464 Pages
A New York Times Notable Book
Flora Tristán, the illegitimate child of a wealthy Peruvian father and French mother, grows up in poverty and journeys to Peru to demand her inheritance. On her return in 1844, she makes her name as a champion of the downtrodden, touring the French countryside to recruit members for her Workers' Union.
In 1891, Flora's grandson, struggling painter and stubborn visionary Paul Gauguin, abandons his wife and five children for life in the South Seas, where his dreams of paradise are poisoned by syphilis, the stifling forces of French colonialism, and a chronic lack of funds, though he has his pick of teenage Tahitian lovers and paints some of his greatest works.
Flora died before her grandson was born, but their travels and obsessions unfold side by side in this double portrait, a rare study in passion and ambition, as well as the obstinate pursuit of greatness in the face of illness and death.
Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Prize For Literature
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