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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Way to Paradise

The Way to Paradise

A Novel

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated by Natasha Wimmer



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 For Literature, Nobel Prize in 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 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

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.

image of Mario Vargas Llosao
Morgana Vargas Llosa

Work in Progress essay by Vargas Llosa

Learn about Vargas Llosa's Nobel Prize

Paris Review Interview with Vargas Llosa

A New York Times profile on Vargas Llosa


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