The Lacuna

The Lacuna

3.76 (50,239 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In The Lacuna, her first novel in nine years, Barbara Kingsolver, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, tells the story of Harrison William Shepherd, a man caught between two worlds--an unforgettable protagonist whose search for identity will take readers to the heart of the twentieth century's most tumultuous events.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 762 pages
  • 149.86 x 218.44 x 40.64mm | 839.14g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • Large type / large print edition
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0061927562
  • 9780061927560
  • 1,003,952

Review quote

-The novel achieves a rare dramatic power...Kingsolver masterfully resurrects a dark period in American history with the assured hand of a true literary artist.---Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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Back cover copy

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.
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Rating details

50,239 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 29% (14,508)
4 36% (18,146)
3 22% (11,018)
2 9% (4,355)
1 4% (2,212)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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