Friday, July 13, 2012

New Fiction - and a Classic Comes to the Screen


For your consideration - a half dozen new stories to stir the imagination and ignite the emotions. Something for everyone in this collection.

But first, a sneak peak at the movie version of Bless Me, Ultima, slated for a premiere in El Paso later this year. A movie, at last. Very appropriate as the world celebrates the 40th anniversary of the publication of one of America's greatest novels.


Classic Storytelling



New Fiction


Riverhead Books - June, 2012

[from the publisher] 
Published for the first time in English, an atmospheric, brilliant novel from an internationally bestselling literary luminary.

Roberto Ampuero’s novels starring the wonderfully roguish Cayetano Brulé are an international sensation. In The Neruda Case, readers are introduced to Cayetano as he takes on his first case as a private eye. Set against the fraught political world of pre-Pinochet Chile, Castro’s Cuba, and perilous behind-the-Wall East Berlin, this mystery spans countries, cultures, and political ideas, and features one of literature’s most beloved figures—Pablo Neruda.

Cayetano meets the poet at a party in Chile in the 1970s. The dying Neruda recruits Cayetano to help him solve the last great mystery of his life. As Cayetano fumbles around his first case, finding it hard to embrace the new inspector identity foisted upon him, he begins to learn more about Neruda’s hidden agenda. Neruda sends him on a whirlwind expedition around the world, ending back in Chile, where Pinochet’s coup plays out against the final revelations of their journey.

Evocative, romantic, and full of intrigue, Ampuero’s novel is both a glimpse into the life of Pablo Neruda as death approaches and a political thriller that unfolds during the fiercely convulsive end of an era.

 
The Dream of the Celt
Mario Vargas Llosa, translated by Edith Grossman
 Farrar, Straus and Giroux - June, 2012

[from the publisher]
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 Casement’s trial and eventual hanging tainted his image to such a degree that his pioneering human rights work wasn’t fully reexamined until the 1960s.

In The Dream of the Celt, Mario Vargas Llosa, who has long been regarded as one of Latin America’s 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.



Choke
Diana López
Point - July, 2012


[from the author's web site]
If she could—if her parents would let her—eighth-grader Windy would change everything about herself. She’d get highlights in her hair and a new wardrobe; she’d wear makeup. But nothing ever changes. The mean girls at school are still mean, and Windy’s best friend, Elena, is still more interested in making up words than talking about boys.

And then one day, Windy gets the change she’s been looking for. New girl Nina—impossibly cool, confident, and not afraid of anyone—starts hanging out with Windy! Nina even wants to be “breath sisters.” Windy isn’t sure what that means exactly, but she knows she wants to find out. It sounds even better than a BFF.

Windy is right, at first. Being a breath sister gains her a whole new set of friends—girls she feels closer to and cooler with than anyone else. But her inclusion comes at a dangerous price. Windy wants to change everything about her life...but is she really willing to give up everything in the process?



The Joy Brigade
Martin Limón
Soho - July, 2012

 [from the publisher]
In this pulse-racing ninth adventure, Sergeant George Sueño heads north of Korea's DMZ on a mission to prevent war between the Communist North and the American-allied South.


Seoul, early 1970s: US Army Sergeant George Sueño is on a mission of extreme importance to the South Korean government, as well as the US Army. Kim Il-Sung has vowed to reunite North and South Korea into one country before he hands control of the government over to his son, which means North Korea is planning to cross the DMZ and overpower the American-allied South Korean government. Sueño's mission is to prevent this by sneaking into North Korea and obtaining an ancient map detailing the network of secret tunnels that run underneath the DMZ. To do so, he will have to go undercover and infiltrate the North Korean Communist inner sanctum.


Aware of the often dubious nature of the US Military's tactics, Sueño is skeptical about his assignment. But he has other things on his mind. The keeper of the map is Doc Yong, a former lover of Sueño's who was forced to flee South Korea the year before—and she has a son. Before they can be happily reunited, the plan falls to pieces, and Sueño is captured. Can he rely on the enigmatic Hero Kang, his sole contact in the hostile country? Will the lovely Rhee Mi-Sook, the leader of the North Korean secret police, be too much to handle? And who are the mysterious group of women known as the Joy Brigade?




The Prisoner of Heaven
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, translated by Lucia Graves
Harper - July, 2012

[from the author's website]
The third in the cycle of novels that began with The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, The Prisoner of Heaven returns to the world of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop.


It begins just before Christmas in Barcelona in 1957, one year after Daniel and Bea from The Shadow of the Wind have married. They now have a son, Julian, and are living with Daniel's father at Sempere & Sons. Fermin still works with them and is busy preparing for his wedding to Bernarda in the New Year. However something appears to be bothering him.


Daniel is alone in the shop one morning when a mysterious figure with a pronounced limp enters. He spots one of their most precious volumes that is kept locked in a glass cabinet, a beautiful and unique illustrated edition of The Count of Monte Cristo. Despite the fact that the stranger seems to care little for books, he wants to buy this expensive edition. Then, to Daniel's surprise, the man inscribes the book with the words 'To Fermin Romero de Torres, who came back from the dead and who holds the key to the future'. This visit leads back to a story of imprisonment, betrayal and the return of a deadly rival.






Cervantes Street
Jaime Manrique
Akashic - September, 2012

[from Publishers Weekly]
Novelist, essayist, and poet Manrique (Our Lives Are the Rivers) reimagines the already larger than life true story of Miguel de Cervantes, who flees Madrid after a near-fatal duel, loses use of his left hand in battle, is kidnapped and sold into slavery by pirates, who believe he “will fetch a good ransom because he’s a war hero” and, finally, pens the masterwork Don Quixote. Too good a story to be true? Perhaps, but what Manrique is really interested in is not the sensationalism of Cervantes’s life but his star-crossed relationship with Luis de Lara, who lacks Cervantes’ talent and heart, but gets the money and the girl. Neither man is satisfied with his lot in life, and they compete and support each other in turn, both jealous of what the other man possesses (Manrique assumes both points of view). Manrique adopts a florid, epic style for his tale of 16th-century Spain, one with the quality of a tall tale told by a troubadour rather than written on the page. He ably captures the human qualities of the legendary writer, as well as his swashbuckling, and explores the downside of artistic talent, even offering a theory about the origins of the false Don Quixote.

Later.

2 comments:

ggwritespoetry said...

The movie looks FANTASTIC! I can't wait to see it!

sandra said...

So many interesting books, so little time! And quite an array, too.