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3 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

The Lacuna

by

The Lacuna Cover

ISBN13: 9780060852573
ISBN10: 0060852577
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Awards

2010 Orange Prize

Staff Pick

Waiting for a new Kingsolver novel has been like waiting for a favorite restaurant to reopen after renovations, only it's been nine years of anticipation. With the grand depth of The Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna tells of historical and intercultural intrigue, amidst relationships that unfold slowly, drawing out their flavors. Kingsolver's research rewards us with accurate representations of exciting historical figures. Her themes of social change have a timeless relevance. It's a pleasure to be immersed once again in the kaleidoscope of Barbara Kingsolver's imagination and skill.
Recommended by Andrea, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"Kingsolver, at the top of her craft, builds pyramids of language and scenic highways through mountains of facts, while plotting a mostly tight course through the fictional premises that convey her writing's social conscience. In this book, pacifism, social justice, and free expression are the standards she shoulders." Celia McGee, Bookforum (read the entire Bookforum review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In her most accomplished novel, Barbara Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities.

Born in the United States, reared in a series of provisional households in Mexico — from a coastal island jungle to 1930s Mexico City — Harrison Shepherd finds precarious shelter but no sense of home on his thrilling odyssey. Life is whatever he learns from housekeepers who put him to work in the kitchen, errands he runs in the streets, and one fateful day, by mixing plaster for famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He discovers a passion for Aztec history and meets the exotic, imperious artist Frida Kahlo, who will become his lifelong friend. When he goes to work for Lev Trotsky, an exiled political leader fighting for his life, Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution, newspaper headlines and howling gossip, and a risk of terrible violence.

Meanwhile, to the north, the United States will soon be caught up in the internationalist goodwill of World War II. There in the land of his birth, Shepherd believes he might remake himself in America's hopeful image and claim a voice of his own. He finds support from an unlikely kindred soul, his stenographer, Mrs. Brown, who will be far more valuable to her employer than he could ever know. Through darkening years, political winds continue to toss him between north and south in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach — the lacuna — between truth and public presumption.

With deeply compelling characters, a vivid sense of place, and a clear grasp of how history and public opinion can shape a life, Barbara Kingsolver has created an unforgettable portrait of the artist — and of art itself. The Lacuna is a rich and daring work of literature, establishing its author as one of the most provocative and important of her time.

Review:

"Rich...impassioned...engrossing...Politics and art dominate the novel, and their overt, unapologetic connection is refreshing." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Compelling...Kingsolver's descriptions of life in Mexico City burst with sensory detail — thick sweet breads, vividly painted walls, the lovely white feet of an unattainable love." The New Yorker

Review:

"Breathtaking...dazzling...The Lacuna can be enjoyed sheerly for the music of its passages on nature, archaeology, food and friendship; or for its portraits of real and invented people...But the fuller value...lies in its call to conscience and connection." New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

In her first novel in nine years, New York Times-bestselling author Kingsolver tells the story of Harrison William Shepherd, an unforgettable protagonist whose search for identity takes readers to the heart of the 20th century's most tumultuous events.

About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver is the author of seven works of fiction, including the novels The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her most recent work of nonfiction is the enormously influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver's work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. In 2000, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country's highest honor for service through the arts. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 23 comments:

smaasch, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by smaasch)
wonderful writing as one has come to expect from barbara kingsolver. learned a lot about mexican history. the character development was fabulous.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Carolyn of Seattle, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Carolyn of Seattle)
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver is the best book that I read this year. We've bought a half dozen more to send to friends and family as gifts.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Lena Wright, September 5, 2011 (view all comments by Lena Wright)
This past year, I chose Barbara Kingsolver as the subject of my junior thesis. Having already read two of her older novels, Prodigal Summer and The Poisonwood Bible (both of which I would recommend to any fan of epic fiction), I was eager to read her newest work. The Lacuna surprised me in many ways. The main character is male, something which she doesn't usually do. And although it spans a great length of time, like The Poisonwood Bible, it doesn't focus so much on stark black and whites. Reading other reviews of it, many people think this is her worst work. But contrary to what many reviewers wrote, I found it to be one of her more complex works about human nature and an intriguing look into Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo's relationship. Definitely worth reading!
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View all 23 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060852573
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Kingsolver, Barbara
Author:
McIntosh, Fiona
Publisher:
Harper
Subject:
General
Subject:
Identity (psychology)
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Situations / Adolescence
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Valisar
Publication Date:
20091103
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 3 to 7
Language:
English
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.00909 in 17.12 oz
Age Level:
from 8 to 12

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » Miscellaneous Award Winners
Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2010
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

The Lacuna Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 528 pages Harper - English 9780060852573 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Waiting for a new Kingsolver novel has been like waiting for a favorite restaurant to reopen after renovations, only it's been nine years of anticipation. With the grand depth of The Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna tells of historical and intercultural intrigue, amidst relationships that unfold slowly, drawing out their flavors. Kingsolver's research rewards us with accurate representations of exciting historical figures. Her themes of social change have a timeless relevance. It's a pleasure to be immersed once again in the kaleidoscope of Barbara Kingsolver's imagination and skill.

"Review A Day" by , "Kingsolver, at the top of her craft, builds pyramids of language and scenic highways through mountains of facts, while plotting a mostly tight course through the fictional premises that convey her writing's social conscience. In this book, pacifism, social justice, and free expression are the standards she shoulders." (read the entire Bookforum review)
"Review" by , "Rich...impassioned...engrossing...Politics and art dominate the novel, and their overt, unapologetic connection is refreshing."
"Review" by , "Compelling...Kingsolver's descriptions of life in Mexico City burst with sensory detail — thick sweet breads, vividly painted walls, the lovely white feet of an unattainable love."
"Review" by , "Breathtaking...dazzling...The Lacuna can be enjoyed sheerly for the music of its passages on nature, archaeology, food and friendship; or for its portraits of real and invented people...But the fuller value...lies in its call to conscience and connection."
"Synopsis" by , In her first novel in nine years, New York Times-bestselling author Kingsolver tells the story of Harrison William Shepherd, an unforgettable protagonist whose search for identity takes readers to the heart of the 20th century's most tumultuous events.
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