Synopses & Reviews
Eduardo Lalo is one of the most vital and unique voices of Latin American literature, but his work is relatively little known in the English-speaking world. That changes now: this masterful translation of his most celebrated novel, Simone
andmdash;which won the 2013 Randoacute;mulo Gallegos International Novel Prizeandmdash;will introduce an English-language audience to this extraordinary literary talent.
A tale of alienation, love, suspense, imagination, and literature set on the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Simone tells the story of a self-educated Chinese immigrant student courting (and stalking) a disillusioned, unnamed writer who is struggling to make a name for himself in a place that is not exactly a hotbed of literary fame. By turns solipsistic and political, romantic and dark, Simone begins with the writerandrsquo;s frustrated, satiric observations on his native city and the banal life of the university where he teachesandmdash;forces utterly at odds with the sensuality of his writing. But, as mysterious messages and literary clues begin to appearandmdash;scrawled on sidewalks and walls, inside volumes set out in bookstores, left on his answering machine and under his windshield wiperandmdash;Simone progresses into a cat-and-mouse game between the writer and his mystery stalker. When the eponymous Simoneandrsquo;s identity is at last revealed, the writer finds in the life of this Chinese immigrant a plight not unlike his own. Traumatized and lonely, the pair moves towards bittersweet collaborations in passion, grief, and art.
"Depicts the gaudy, carnivalesque life of Havana in the days before Castro. Very sexy, replete with puns, wordplay and literary allusions...this is one of the most enjoyable books of the Latin literature boom." Washington Post Book World
"One of the most inventively humorous novels in the Spanish language." New York Review of Books
Many of Cuba's intellectuals embraced the Castro regime, but Guillermo Cabrera Infante, who criticized it, was condemned as a traitor and forced into exile. From this bitter experience, which included his hospitalization for mental collapse, came the vivid sketches of Cuban life that made up the acclaimed View of Dawn from the Tropics. In exile he revised this work into Three Trapped Tigers, a savage comedy that catapulted him into the first rank of Latin American novelist.
A story of alienation, love, suspense, and imagination set on the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, SIMONE describes a self-educated Chinese immigrant student stalking (and courting) a disillusioned writer. The novel begins with the writerandrsquo;s frustrated, satiric observations on his native city and the life of the university where he teaches. It progresses to the cat-and-mouse game he enters into with his mystery stalker; finally it describes his recognition of the plight of Chinese immigrant workers in Puerto Rico.and#160; Traumatized and lonely, the characters move towards bitter-sweet collaborations in passion, grief, literature and art. Longing to escape his isolation and his native city, the writer ends by embracing both.
About the Author
Eduardo Lalo is a writer, essayist, video artist, and photographer from Puerto Rico. He is the author of ten Spanish-language books, including La Inutilidad, Los Paandiacute;ses Invisibles, and, most recently, El Deseo del Landaacute;piz.