Synopses & Reviews
A subtle and enlightening novel about a neglected human rights pioneer by the Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa
In 1916, the Irish nationalist Roger Casement was hanged by the British government for treason. Casement had dedicated his extraordinary life to improving the plight of oppressed peoples around the world—especially the native populations in the Belgian Congo and the Amazon—but when he dared to draw a parallel between the injustices he witnessed in African and American colonies and those committed by the British in Northern Ireland, he became involved in a cause that led to his imprisonment and execution. Ultimately, the scandals surrounding Casements trial and eventual hanging tainted his image to such a degree that his pioneering human rights work wasnt fully reexamined until the 1960s.
In The Dream of the Celt, Mario Vargas Llosa, who has long been regarded as one of Latin Americas most vibrant, provocative, and necessary literary voices—a fact confirmed when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010—brings this complex character to life as no other writer can. A masterful work, sharply translated by Edith Grossman, The Dream of the Celt tackles a controversial man whose story has long been neglected, and, in so doing, pushes at the boundaries of the historical novel.
"A Nobel Prize for Literature winner (in 2010) and one-time Peruvian presidential candidate, Vargas Llosa chronicles the life of Roger Casement, an Irish patriot and human rights activist, or 'specialist in atrocities,' who was executed by the British in 1916 after the Easter Rising, which heralded the beginning of Irish independence. This is a meticulously researched book about a deeply complex man; Vargas Llosa's admirable powers as a writer of fiction are apparent when he slows the pace of the narrative to allow access to Casement's thoughts as he languishes in prison, waiting to hear whether his stay of execution has been granted. Vargas Llosa (The Bad Girl) is at his best writing as a novelist rather than biographer, but the unnecessarily complex narrative structure in which Casement's life story unfolds at a galloping pace achieves neither the best of biography nor the best of fiction. Readers will wish that the book was either one or the other. Agent: The Carmen Balcells Agency. (June 12)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for Mario Vargas Llosa: “The bold, dynamic and endlessly productive imagination of the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, one of the writing giants of our time, is something truly to be admired.” —Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle
“Mario Vargas Llosa has done an inestimable service to the memory of a great man.”—John Banville, The New York Review of Books
“This vibrant reimagining of history is also a brilliant exploration of conflicting moral claims. Who are the oppressors? Who are the truth-tellers? As always, Vargas Llosa remains a fiendishly clever teacher.”—The Washington Post
“At once a meticulously researched fictional biography and a clever psychological novel.”—The Economist
“Vargas Llosa is a masterful writer.”—The Miami Herald
“The Dream of the Celt fully succeeds in capturing the complexity of the man....Vargas Llosa has produced an epic apologia for this most sympathetic of traitors.”—The Daily Beast
A painstakingly researched and lively novel about a neglected human rights pioneer by the Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa
In 1916, the Irish nationalist Roger Casement was hanged by the British government for treason. Casement had dedicated his life to improving the plight of oppressed peoples around the world. But when he dared to draw a parallel between the injustices he witnessed in African and American colonies and those committed by the British in Northern Ireland, he became involved in a cause that led to his imprisonment and execution. Ultimately, the scandals surrounding Casements trial and eventual hanging marred his image to such a degree that his pioneering human rights work wasnt fully reexamined until the 1960s. Dream of the Celt
is a fascinating fictional account of an extraordinary man in the original and dynamic style of Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.
Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman
About the Author
Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010 “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individuals resistance, revolt, and defeat.” Perus foremost writer, he has been awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking worlds most distinguished literary honor, and the Jerusalem Prize. His many works include The Feast of the Goat
, The Bad Girl
, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter
, The War of the End of the World
, and The Storyteller
. He lives in London.
Edith Grossman has translated the works of the Nobel laureates Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez, among others. One of the most important translators of Latin American fiction, her version of Miguel de Cervantess Don Quixote is considered to be the finest translation of the Spanish masterpiece in the English language.