The Long Night of White Chickens by Francisco Goldman

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Synopsis

The Long Night of White Chickens is a novel truly born of two worlds: It is the story of Roger Graetz, raised in a Boston suburb by an aristocratic Guatemalan mother, and his relationship with Flor de Mayo, the beautiful young Guatemalan orphan sent by his grandmother to live with his family as a maid. When, years later in the 1980s, Flor is murdered in Guatemala while running an orphanage, Roger returns to uncover the truth of her death. There he is reunited with Luis Moya, a childhood friend, and together they attempt to chronicle Flor's life story, a quest that will have unexpected, and unforgettable repercussions.
 

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. 472 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Long Night of White Chickens

Kirkus Reviews

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Goldman, a contributing editor of Harper's, here tells the story of a half-Guatemalan, half-Boston-Jewish young man, Roger Graetz, and his lifelong fascination with and love for the Guatemalan orphan Flor, who lived in his house while she attended high school, later going to Wellesley, then back ...

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The New York Times

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“That agile, hopscotchlike skipping she used to do on the sidewalk,” Mr. Goldman writes, “a winged-heel blur, heel-kicked-back heel-kicked-back while also moving forward in an exhilarated burst down the sidewalk as if propelling herself back to her childhood in Copilco.” These winsome de...

Apr 12 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Night of White Chickens

Publishers Weekly

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Set mainly in Guatemala under military tyranny in the 1980s, this accomplished first novel introduces a talented writer with a distinctive voice and an assured prose style.

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Entertainment Weekly

Goldman, a Guatemalan-American who is a contributing editor of Harper's with some first-rate reporting from Central America to his credit, beautifully evokes the spiritual torpor of a people ''justifiably saturated with paranoia...resolutely silent, suspicious, dishonest, full of denial, qui...

Jul 24 1992 | Read Full Review of The Long Night of White Chickens

The Independent

There is a similar metaphorical richness with Flor, who for all her norte-americano education makes slight, endearing mistakes in English: she says 'gardner' for 'garner' and 'minstral' for 'mistral' (she is also a minstrel in the Pied Piper sense, and even a mistral - a strong, ominous wind blow...

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People

Goldman tells the story of Flor de Mayo Puac, a Guatemalan maid brought to suburban Boston and transformed into a Wellesley College—educated "daughter."

Aug 03 1992 | Read Full Review of The Long Night of White Chickens

London Review of Books

Brooding over what he knows about the village – how the army has only recently allowed nuns and priests back in, how the Indians have refused to return to the rectory because of all the people who have been tortured to death there – Roger finds himself tiredly incapable of outrage, and almost cat...

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