The Divine Husband by Francisco Goldman
A Novel

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Synopsis

One of the most talented and award-winning writers of his generation, Francisco Goldman’s third novel, The Divine Husband, appeared to wide and rapturous acclaim. Beginning with a single, possibly scandalous love poem by Jose Marti, Cuba’s greatest revolutionary-poet-hero with an infamous secret love life, The Divine Husband is the story of Maria de las Nieves Moran, a former nun forced out of her convent by a revolution in a Central American capital. While making her way in this metropolis nicknamed “The Little Paris,” she enrolls in a writing class taught by Jose Marti, under whose spell Maria de las Nieves and her classmates quickly fall. Soon after, Maria de las Nieves flees her home for New York, where Marti has also relocated -- a crucial interval that shaped Marti’s consciousness. Nearly a century later, an elderly woman in Massachusetts hires a college student to investigate her claim that she is the illegitimate offspring of Marti and Maria de las Nieves. Mixing a lovingly re-created historical past with often hilarious, ironic, and moving conjecture that brings to life an unforgettable heroine and her remarkable collection of friends, nemeses, and rival suitors, The Divine Husband is a magnificent American novel.
 

About Francisco Goldman

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Francisco Goldman is the author of three previous works of fiction (The Long Night of White Chickens, The Ordinary Seaman, and The Divine Husband), and one work of nonfiction, The Art of Political Murder. His first novel, The Long Night of White Chickens, was awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and The Ordinary Seaman, his second novel, was a finalist for the International IMPAC-Dublin Literary Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Fiction. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a Fellow at the New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers. Currently the Allan K. Smith Professor of English at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Francisco's writing has appeared in publications including the New Yorker, Harper's, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and the New York Review of Books. He lives in New York City and Mexico City. Winner of the prestigious Audie Award for his recording of Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic by Gordon S. Wood, veteran actor Robert Fass is equally at home in a wide variety of styles, genres, characters, and dialects. Robert also earned an Earphones Award for his narration of Francisco Goldman's novel Say Her Name, which was named one of the Best Audiobooks of 2011 by AudioFile magazine. He has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Isaac Asimov, Jeffrey Deaver, and John Steinbeck, plus nonfiction works in history, health, journalism, and business. For eleven years, Robert was featured weekly on the InTouch network, broadcasting selections from the New Yorker magazine to the visually impaired.
 
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 500 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Divine Husband

Kirkus Reviews

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Sexier-than-pretty María de las Nieves Moran entered one of the many convents in her nameless little Central American homeland not for love of God but for love of her bosom friend Paquita.

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The New York Times

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The spy's observations are a mordant — perhaps more mordant than Goldman intends — commentary on the collision between a skeptical Anglo-American sensibility and Martí's effusions, grating bombast toward which Goldman is almost absurdly reverential in the rest of the novel.

Sep 26 2004 | Read Full Review of The Divine Husband: A Novel

The New York Times

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In comments from a discussion at the New York Public Library, the author of "The Divine Husband" says he felt "the past itself was fiction .

Sep 26 2004 | Read Full Review of The Divine Husband: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Divine Husband by Francisco Goldman Atlantic £15.99, pp466 Francisco Goldman's novel does half a dozen things well, without doing any of them (quite) unforgettably.

Jan 09 2005 | Read Full Review of The Divine Husband: A Novel

The Guardian

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Although Goldman at times remoulds English to resemble Spanish - down to the lavish diminutives required of 19th-century decorum - he rather expands the "American novel" to encompass the entire hemisphere, navigating with groundbreaking aplomb the "unfathomable mongrel river of the Americas".

May 07 2005 | Read Full Review of The Divine Husband: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Much more interesting are María's three other suitors, especially María's true love, a mysterious boy whom the ambassador has plucked out of obscurity and wants to make the king of the Mosquitoes, an Indian tribe on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua.

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London Review of Books

After María reads a passage of purple reportage in a newspaper written by Martí, Goldman reflects academically on Martí’s journalism: ‘The crónica form, as practised and developed by certain young writers in Latin-American newspapers at the time, was the laboratory of the Modernist poetic style.’...

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The Paris Review

“Esto es tu culpa,” Francisco Goldman was told by his mother-in-law, as his wife, Aura Estrada, lay dying in a Mexico City hospital.

May 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Divine Husband: A Novel

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