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The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver
The Lacuna
by: (author)
3.74 245
In her most accomplished novel, Barbara Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern... show more
In her most accomplished novel, Barbara Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities. Born in the United States, reared in a series of provisional households in Mexico—from a coastal island jungle to 1930s Mexico City—Harrison Shepherd finds precarious shelter but no sense of home on his thrilling odyssey. Life is whatever he learns from housekeepers who put him to work in the kitchen, errands he runs in the streets, and one fateful day, by mixing plaster for famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He discovers a passion for Aztec history and meets the exotic, imperious artist Frida Kahlo, who will become his lifelong friend. When he goes to work for Lev Trotsky, an exiled political leader fighting for his life, Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution, newspaper headlines and howling gossip, and a risk of terrible violence. Meanwhile, to the north, the United States will soon be caught up in the internationalist goodwill of World War II. There in the land of his birth, Shepherd believes he might remake himself in America's hopeful image and claim a voice of his own. He finds support from an unlikely kindred soul, his stenographer, Mrs. Brown, who will be far more valuable to her employer than he could ever know. Through darkening years, political winds continue to toss him between north and south in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach—the lacuna—between truth and public presumption. With deeply compelling characters, a vivid sense of place, and a clear grasp of how history and public opinion can shape a life, Barbara Kingsolver has created an unforgettable portrait of the artist—and of art itself. The Lacuna is a rich and daring work of literature, establishing its author as one of the most provocative and important of her time.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9780060852573 (0060852577)
Publisher: Harper
Pages no: 508
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Remember When the Music
Remember When the Music rated it
5.0 The Lacuna
Mrs. Kingsolver has done it again! I don’t even know how to begin to describe this novel for it is so elaborately written and tells a vast story. I will admit, as often happens when reading Barbara Kingsolver’s novels, I found it a bit laborious to get through the first 50 or so pages of The Lacuna....
moving under skies
moving under skies rated it
2.0 The Lacuna
I was thrilled with this at the beginning. I see a lot of the reviewers here thought the beginning dull and the end fantastic, but for me it was quite the opposite. I loved the 'childhood' section of the novel, with its gorgeous, dreamy evocation of the land and the food and the history. Then the st...
Mellkoh
Mellkoh rated it
4.0 The Lacuna
What an interesting book! It was a challenging read, as the format is mainly diary entries and press clippings. That being said, it covered a fascinating period of time, including the witch hunt known as the "House Committee on Un-American Activities".
daisyq
daisyq rated it
I did really enjoy the first half of this, when it was set in Mexico and the narrator was working for Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Trotsky. However, I struggled to remain interested after that, when the narrator ends up in the US. He isn't really a strong character, and at that point, he isn't han...
Overloaded Bookshelf
Overloaded Bookshelf rated it
5.0 The Lacuna: A Novel
I was a newcomer to Barbara Kingsolver but will definitely check out her other books. This was brilliant, thoroughtly deserving of all the awards. Best thing I've read for ages.
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