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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Neighborhood

The Neighborhood

A Novel

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


A thrilling tale of desire and Peruvian corruption swirls around a scandalous exposé that leads to murder

From the Nobel Laureate comes a politically charged detective novel weaving through the underbelly of Peruvian privilege. In the 1990s, during the turbulent and deeply corrupt years of Alberto Fujimori’s presidency, two wealthy couples of Lima’s high society become embroiled in a disturbing vortex of erotic adventures and politically driven blackmail.

One day Enrique, a high-profile businessman, receives a visit from Rolando Garro, the editor of a notorious magazine that specializes in salacious exposés. Garro presents Enrique with lewd pictures from an old business trip and demands that he invest in the magazine. Enrique refuses, and the next day the pictures are on the front page. Meanwhile, Enrique’s wife is in the midst of a passionate and secret affair with the wife of Enrique’s lawyer and best friend. When Garro shows up murdered, the two couples are thrown into a whirlwind of navigating Peru’s unspoken laws and customs, while the staff of the magazine embark on their greatest exposé yet.

Ironic and sensual, provocative and redemptive, the novel swirls into the kind of restless realism that has become Mario Vargas Llosa’s signature style. A twisting, unpredictable tale, The Neighborhood is at once a scathing indictment of Fujimori’s regime and a crime thriller that evokes the vulgarity of freedom in a corrupt system.

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Praise for The Neighborhood

“Mixing a flair for pulpy dialogue and even pulpier characters, Vargas Llosa manages to convey empathy for that seediest of figures, the tabloid journalist. In venturing into genre territory, Nobel Prize–winner Vargas Llosa finds a sweet spot with this textured thriller that will appeal both to his established audience of literary-fiction readers and to fans of international crime novels.” —Booklist, starred review

“Reminiscent of Pynchon’s Inherent Vice in its use of genre fiction for higher purposes, this is an audacious and skillful novel." —Publisher's Weekly

"...this work is both crime thriller and social commentary and will keep fans of Nobel Laureate Vargas Llosa happy." —Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman

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.” He has also won the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world’s most distinguished literary honor. His many works include The Discreet Hero, The Feast of the Goat, The Bad Girl, and Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, all published by FSG.

Edith Grossman has translated the works of the Nobel laureates Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez, among others. Her version of Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote is considered the finest translation of the Spanish masterpiece in the English language.

image of Mario Vargas Llosao
Morgana Vargas Llosa

How I Lost My Fear of Flying: FSG Work in Progress essay by Vargas Llosa

Learn about Vargas Llosa's Nobel Prize

New York Times profile: A Storyteller Enthralled by the Power of Art

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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