Delirium by Laura Restrepo
A Novel

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Internationally acclaimed for the virtuosity and power of her fiction, Laura Restrepo has created in Delirium a passionate, lyrical, devastating tale of eros and insanity.

Aguilar, an unemployed literature professor who has resorted to selling dog food for a living, returns home from a short trip to discover that his wife, Agustina, has gone mad. He doesn’t know what has happened during his absence, and in his search for answers, he gradually unearths profound and shadowy secrets about her past.

On one level, Delirium reads like a detective story, as the reader pieces together information to discover the roots of Agustina’s madness. But it is also a remarkably nuanced novel whose currents run much deeper, delving into the minds of four characters: Aguilar, a husband passionately in love with his wife and determined to rescue her from insanity: Agustina, a beautiful woman from an upper-class Colombian family who is caught in the throes of madness; Midas, a drug-trafficker and money-launderer, who is Agustina’s former lover; and Nicolás, Agustina’s grandfather. Through the mixing of these distinct voices, Laura Restrepo creates a searing portrait of a society battered by war and corruption as well as an intimate look at the daily lives of people struggling to stay sane in an unstable country.

Delirium already has been awarded the 2004 Premio Alfaguara, the 2006 Grinzane Cavour Prize in Italy, and was shortlisted for the prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger in France for best translated fiction. It is an ambitious and deeply affecting masterwork by one of Latin America’s most important contemporary voices.

Translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer.


About Laura Restrepo

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Laura Restrepo is the bestselling author of six novels, including The Dark Bride, A Tale of the Dispossessed, and Delirio, which received Spain's prestigious Alfaguara Prize. She lives in Colombia.Laura Restrepo fue profesora de literatura en la Universidad de Colombia, editora política en la revista Semana y miembro de la Comisión Nacional para la Paz. Ha escrito destacadas novelas tales como Leopardo al sol; Dulce Compañía, que obtuvo el premio Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz en México y el premio France Culture en Francia; y Delirio, que obtuvo el premio Alfaguara. Actualmente vive en Bogotá, Colombia.
Published January 1, 2007 by Harvill Secker. 336 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Delirium

Kirkus Reviews

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But the multiple narratives are presented without transitions and, too often, are so confusing that the reader is hard-pressed to decipher exactly who successively introduced characters are (a prime example: Agustina’s duplicitous and dangerous other brother Joaco), and how they’re all interconne...

Jan 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Delirium: A Novel

The New York Times

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Laura Restrepo writes about Colombia, her native land, but she spends a good deal of her time in Mexico, and to read her latest novel, "Delirium," is to understand why.

Apr 15 2007 | Read Full Review of Delirium: A Novel

The Guardian

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Restrepo's novel is in some ways a bridge between the rural lyricism of Gabriel García Márquez and the urban "narco-realism" of Colombia's so-called "McOndo" writers - McDonald's and condos - such as Medellín's Jorge Franco.

Aug 31 2007 | Read Full Review of Delirium: A Novel

The Guardian

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Fundamentally, this is a novel about madness, and Restrepo's achievement is to portray both the pathological and social aspects of delirium with her story and her style.

Nov 04 2007 | Read Full Review of Delirium: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Aguilar, a former literature professor who now "delivers dog food in order to survive" returns from a trip to find his beloved wife, Agustina, has "transformed into someone terrified and terrifying";

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Entertainment Weekly

Both a mystery and a study of madness, Laura Restrepo's novel Delirium follows eccentric Agustina, who suffers a nervous breakdown while her husband is away from their Bogotá, Colombia home.

Mar 16 2007 | Read Full Review of Delirium: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Carolyn See NY Times Book Review 3.5 of 5 Stars "Delirium is a disconcertingly lovely book, and its depiction of Colombian society at an awful moment in its history (and a few awful times before) is sharp, vivid, utterly persuasive.

Aug 02 2007 | Read Full Review of Delirium: A Novel

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