Winner of the California Book Award for Fiction
A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
Best Book of the Year Lists
The New York Times Book Review • Los Angeles Times
San Francisco Chronicle • The Boston Globe
Scott and Maureen Torres-Thompson have always relied on others to run their Orange County home. But when bad investments crater their bank account, it all comes down to Araceli: their somewhat prickly Mexican maid. One night, an argument between the couple turns physical, and a misunderstanding leaves the children in Araceli's care. Their parents unreachable, she takes them to central Los Angeles in the hopes of finding Scott's estranged Mexican father---an earnest quest that soon becomes a colossal misadventure, with consequences that ripple through every strata of the sprawling city. Héctor Tobar's The Barbarian Nurseries is a masterful tale of contemporary Los Angeles, a novel as alive as the city itself.
THE BARBARIAN NURSERIES (Chapter 1)
Scott Torres was upset because the lawn mower wouldn't start, because no matter how hard he pulled at the cord, it didn't begin to roar. His exertions produced only a brief flutter of the engine, like the cough...
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Praise for The Barbarian Nurseries
“A book of extraordinary scope and extraordinary power.” —Los Angeles Times
“Tobar exhibits a seismographic sensitivity to the tensions along the fault lines of his cultural terrain....His illuminations become our recognitions.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Both timely and timeless...Tobar continually creates moments of uncommon magic.” —Elle
“Tobar looks at Los Angeles like Tom Wolfe took on New York in The Bonfire of the Vanities. Race, class, crime, immigration, marriage trouble, and tabloid-ready news stories--it's all here.” —New York Post
“Each moment surprises....Darkly hilarious and moving.” —The Washington Post
“That Tobar is so evenhanded, so compassionate, so downright smart, should place The Barbarian Nurseries on everyone's must-read list.” —The Seattle Times