Inez by Carlos Fuentes
A Novel

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A magical short novel that weaves together two stories, two couples, two different times, and two grand passions

In one of the narratives that comprise this superb new novel from Carlos Fuentes, we are introduced to Gabriel Atlan-Ferrara, a fabled orchestral conductor, and his great love Inez Prada, a renowned singer. In the other, Fuentes memorably delineates the very first encounter in human history between a man and a woman. In one, the intense drama of Berlioz's music for The Damnation of Faust informs the action; in the other, we watch as a slowly emergent love shapes the nature and character of the two protagonists. A beautiful crystal seal -- the meaning of which is a mystery that obsesses Atlan-Ferrara, who owns it -- unites these two narratives; the magical seal allows one to read unknown languages and hear impossible music, and it is the symbol of a shared love.

The duality of Carlos Fuentes's brilliant new novel mirrors two eras, one in the deepest remote time and one in a time to come, but the passions evoked in both, reflected against each other like two sides of a crystal seal, break the limits of time and space and unite in one story. And, like the light refracted through the seal, it begins in prehistory and spirals out into infinity . . .

In Inez, we find Carlos Fuentes at the height of his magical and realist powers. This profound and beautiful work confirms his standing as Mexico's pre-eminent novelist.


About Carlos Fuentes

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The author of more than a dozen novels and story collections, Carlos Fuentes is Mexico's most celebrated novelist and critic. He has received numerous honors and awards throughout his lifetime, including the Miguel de Cervantes Prize and the Latin Literary Prize. Included among his books are Terra Nostra, Where the Air Is Clear, and Distant Relations. Alejandro Branger is a writer and filmmaker. He lives in New York City. Ethan Shaskan Bumas wrote the story collection The Price of Tea in China, which was a finalist for PEN America West Fiction Book of the Year. He teaches at New Jersey City University.
Published May 2, 2002 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 164 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Inez

Kirkus Reviews

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Whenever Gabriel and Inez meet, there are sure to be portentous observations about the nature and meaning of music, art, and love—but these are David Mamet–like nuggets of colloquialism compared with the parallel story of “the first” man and woman on earth, a morbidly ingenuous pair of cavedwelle...

Apr 01 2002 | Read Full Review of Inez: A Novel

The Guardian

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Inez by Carlos Fuentes Bloomsbury, £15.99, pp160 Passion, once felt by human beings, is so awe-inspiring that it can never be wholly extinguished;

Mar 30 2003 | Read Full Review of Inez: A Novel

The Guardian

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The novel hints at the danger Gabriel represents to Inez - that by abandoning her he has saved her from himself.

Mar 07 2003 | Read Full Review of Inez: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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In this slim new novel, Fuentes, Mexico's unofficial ambassador and author of the recent book Los cinco soles de M xico: Memoria de un milenio (The Five Suns of Mexico: The Memory of a Millennium, see p.48.), takes an introspective turn away from politics to explore the philosophical mysteri...

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Publishers Weekly

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Running parallel to this story is a tale from Inez's dreams, a poetic, elegantly spare love story from a time before recorded history: an ancient couple falls in love as their primitive race migrates across still-forming landscapes.

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