A New York Times Notable Book
Flora Tristán, the illegitimate child of a wealthy Peruvian father and French mother, grows up in poverty and journeys to Peru to demand her inheritance. On her return in 1844, she makes her name as a champion of the downtrodden, touring the French countryside to recruit members for her Workers' Union.
In 1891, Flora's grandson, struggling painter and stubborn visionary Paul Gauguin, abandons his wife and five children for life in the South Seas, where his dreams of paradise are poisoned by syphilis, the stifling forces of French colonialism, and a chronic lack of funds, though he has his pick of teenage Tahitian lovers and paints some of his greatest works.
Flora died before her grandson was born, but their travels and obsessions unfold side by side in this double portrait, a rare study in passion and ambition, as well as the obstinate pursuit of greatness in the face of illness and death.
About Mario Vargas LlosaSee more books from this Author
It’s also a replete and lively story, whose assured construction and pacing very gradually reveal such crucial life patterns and details as Flora’s abandonment of her abusive husband and her children and discovery of sexual fulfillment with a sympathetic Polish demimondaine, and Gauguin’s aggress...| Read Full Review of The Way to Paradise: A Novel
He was seeking remnants of the old way of life - among other things, cannibalism and tolerance of mahus (men-women) - while executing those strange paintings, with their mysterious figures, vivid colours and celebration of paganism (though never entirely free of Christian overtones) on which his ...Mar 20 2004 | Read Full Review of The Way to Paradise: A Novel
Faber £16.99 pp373 Mario Vargas Llosa’s new novel continues a debate — about politics and sexual desire — that he has been conducting with himself for most of his fictional life.Nov 02 2003 | Read Full Review of The Way to Paradise: A Novel
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