Mario Vargas Llosa lures readers into a passionate world of family life and erotic love with the story of Don Rigoberto, his second wife, Lucretia, and Rigoberto's prepubescent son, Alfonso. Although the group appears to be a happy house, within this small constellation lurk the shadows of perversion and the limitless boundaries of familial passion.
"Startling . . . Not only would an American presidential candidate not have written it, but the National Endowment for the Arts wouldn't have given it a grant."—The New Yorker
"The author is silky . . . Vargas Llosa has written a genuinely erotic story and a wicked parody of one."—Los Angeles Times
"Powerful, incendiary . . . Vargas Llosa is a master storyteller."—The Washington Post Book World
"An elaborate and lushly written novel."—USA Today
"Vargas Llosa has tickled all our notions of love and lust, felicity and perversity, teased all our ideas of innocence and self-consciousness, and nibbled playful and ambiguous at every romantic fancy, from the classical to the abstract, the ancient to the postmodern, the sacred to the profane."—San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
"Vargas Llosa is a writer of promethean authority, making outstanding fiction in whatever direction he turns . . . Erotically stimulating, artfully self-assured, In Praise of the Stepmother is as steamy as it is intelligent."—Newsday