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The News from Paraguay
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New or Used: $17.60
New or Used: $17.60

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In 1854, when a beautiful young divorcee named Ella Lynch catches the eye of dictator-in-training Franco Lopez, she leaves Paris and her live-in lover to move with him to Paraguay. Intelligent, astoundingly fertile, and an active supporter of Lopez's reign of terror and annihilation of the population (including, eventually, his siblings and mother), Ella thrives in her role as his culture-hungry mistress. Interweaving fictional diary entries and letters with historical fact, Tuck (Siam; Or, The Woman Who Shot a Man) tracks dozens of players in an ugly chapter of Paraguayan history from which, it is argued, the country has yet to recover; the shock waves of repugnant cruelty and boorishness ripple from the opening pages clear to the end. A gripping read, this is recommended for readers who have strong stomachs and no need for sympathetic protagonists.-Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"The episodic style achieves many lovely moments.images are so vivid you can almost smell them." -- Washington Post Book World
"Decorous detail and vivid imagery." -- Los Angeles Times
"Elegant .the author's research is impressive . a rich and rewarding read." -- Publishers Weekly
"Compelling.the stuff that good fiction is made of: complex characters and an intricate narrative." -- Newsday
"Beautifully written." -- Time
"Impressively researched, lushly written. a splendid realization if its rich subject and Tuck's best so far." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"The perfect setting for Tuck's dark wit." -- The New Yorker
"Charming." -- Vogue
"A gripping read." -- Library Journal
Beautifully written. --Time
Charming. --Vogue
A gripping read. --Library Journal
"Charming."--Vogue
"Vivid, intriguing . . . Tuck brings to life the lush, sensual, and brutal world of 19th-century Paraguay."--Entertainment Weekly
"Decorous detail and vivid imagery."--Los Angeles Times
"Reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez ... Tuck brings characters fully to life."--Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Impressively researched, lushly written... a splendid realization if its rich subject and Tuck's best so far."--Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Beautifully written."--Time
"Tuck's prose is elegant, the subject well researched."--New York Times Book Review
"Elegant ...the author's research is impressive ... a rich and rewarding read."--Publishers Weekly
"Compelling...the stuff that good fiction is made of: complex characters and an intricate narrative."--Newsday
"THE NEWS FROM PARAGUAY captures the physical beauty of an exotic land in Tuck's characteristically exact, evocative prose."--Publishers Weekly
"The episodic style achieves many lovely moments...images are so vivid you can almost smell them."--Washington Post Book World
"The perfect setting for Tuck's dark wit."--The New Yorker
"A gripping read."--Library Journal
Tuck s prose is elegant, the subject well researched. --New York Times Book Review"
Compelling the stuff that good fiction is made of: complex characters and an intricate narrative. --Newsday"
Charming. --Vogue"
The perfect setting for Tuck s dark wit. --The New Yorker"
The episodic style achieves many lovely moments images are so vivid you can almost smell them. --Washington Post Book World"
THE NEWS FROM PARAGUAY captures the physical beauty of an exotic land in Tuck s characteristically exact, evocative prose. --Publishers Weekly"
Elegant the author s research is impressive a rich and rewarding read. --Publishers Weekly"
Impressively researched, lushly written a splendid realization if its rich subject and Tuck s best so far. --Kirkus Reviews (starred)"
A gripping read. --Library Journal"
Decorous detail and vivid imagery. --Los Angeles Times"
Vivid, intriguing . . . Tuck brings to life the lush, sensual, and brutal world of 19th-century Paraguay. --Entertainment Weekly"
Beautifully written. --Time"
Reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez ... Tuck brings characters fully to life. --Cleveland Plain Dealer"

Beautiful Ella Lynch left her native Ireland at 10 and married a French officer at 15; by 19, she is divorced, living with a Russian count and struggling to pay her embittered maid. Thus she's in prime shape to appreciate the quick and ardent attentions of Francisco Solano Lopez, aka Franco, the future dictator of Paraguay, when he spies her on horseback in a Paris park in 1854. Rich, generous and not unhandsome, he makes an appealing lover, and soon Ella is off with him to Paraguay, which he vows to make "a country exactly like France." The story unfolds through Tuck's elegant narration (she flits from one character's point-of-view to another in short segments) and Ella's impassioned diaries. The author's research is impressive (Ella was a real 19th-century courtesan) but never overbearing as she explores the life of a spoiled kept woman in a foreign land, as well as the lives, both high and low, of those around her. Established as Franco's mistress in Asuncion, Ella bears Franco many sons, while Franco succeeds his father as ruler and acquires mistress after mistress. Tuck (Siam; Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived) weaves in the stories of Franco's fat, jealous sisters; a disgraced Philadelphia doctor; Ella's wet nurses; and a righteous U.S. minister, among many others, in a richly layered evocation of a complicated world. When Paraguay finds itself at odds with neighboring countries, the novel chronicles the various tragedies and defeats with a cool and unswerving eye. Tuck's novel may not be for the faint of heart, but it is a rich and rewarding read. Agent, Georges Borchardt. 5-city author tour. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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