The Lacuna

By Barbara Kingsolver
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060852580, 544pp.)

Publication Date: August 2010

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback

Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.

Go


Selected by Indie Booksellers for the November 2009 Indie Next List
“Moving from a setting in Mexico (in the company of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Trotsky) to the 1950s America of Red Scares and McCarthyism, The Lacuna tells the very personal and human story of young novelist Harrison Shepherd. Kingsolver does a masterful job creating a story with both scope and intimacy while also raising potent questions about freedom of expression and belief. Bravo!”
-- Sheryl Cotleur, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA


Description

In this powerfully imagined, provocative novel, Barbara Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is the poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as well as an unforgettable portrait of the artist—and of art itself.




About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver's work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned a devoted readership at home and abroad. In 2000 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country's highest honor for service through the arts. She received the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work, and in 2010 won Britain's Orange Prize for The Lacuna. Before she made her living as a writer, Kingsolver earned degrees in biology and worked as a scientist. She now lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.




NPR
Monday, Nov 9, 2009

Writer Barbara Kingsolver is fascinated by the tension inherent in living on the border between two cultures. Her latest novel, The Lacuna, tells the story of a young man born of a Mexican mother and an American father. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

NPR
Tuesday, Nov 3, 2009

It's been nine years since Barbara Kingsolver, author of The Poisonwood Bible, has released a new novel — but is The Lacuna worth the wait? Critic Maureen Corrigan says this personalized perspective on the Red Scare in Mexico reflects the hidden meaning of the book's title: vacancy. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. The word “lacuna” means many things: a missing piece of a manuscript, a gap in history or knowledge, a tunnel or passage leading from one place to another.  What are some of the lacunae in this novel?   




Praise For The Lacuna

“Rich…impassioned…engrossing…Politics and art dominate the novel, and their overt, unapologetic connection is refreshing.”
-Chicago Tribune

“Masterful…a reader receives the great gift of entering not one but several worlds…The final pages haunt me still.”
-San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

“Compelling…Kingsolver’s descriptions of life in Mexico City burst with sensory detail—thick sweet breads, vividly painted walls, the lovely white feet of an unattainable love.”
-The New Yorker

“A work that is often close to magic.... Much research underlies this complex weaving...but the work is lofted by lyric prose.”
-Denver Post

“Shepherd’s story in Kingsolver’s accomplished literary hands is so seductive, the prose so elegant, the architecture of the novel so imaginative, it becomes hard to peel away from the book”
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“[Kingsolver’s] playful pastiche brings to vivid life the culture wars of an earlier era...”
-Vogue

“...True and riveting...Barbara Kingsolver has invented a wondrous filling here, sweeter and thicker than pan dulce, spicy as the hottest Mexican chiles, paranoid as the American government hunting Communists ”
-Philadelphia Inquirer

“A sweeping mural of sensory delights and stimulating ideas about art, government, identity and history…Readers will feel the sting of connection between then and now.”
-Seattle Times

“A sweeping narrative of utopian dreams and political reality…A stirring novel…intimate and pitch-perfect.”
-San Diego Union-Tribune

“Kingsolver deftly combines real history and the life of the fictional protagonist…A sweeping tale.”
-Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“The most mature and ambitious [novel] she’s written…An absorbing portrayal of American life…A rich novel [with] a large, colorful canvas…A tender story about a thoughtful man.”
-Washington Post

“A lavishly gifted writer... Kingsolver [has a] wonderful ear for the quirks of human repartee. The Lacuna is richly spiked with period language... This book grabs at the heartstrings...”
-Los Angeles Times

“Breathtaking...dazzling...The Lacuna can be enjoyed sheerly for the music of its passages on nature, archaeology, food and friendship; or for its portraits of real and invented people...But the fuller value...lies in its call to conscience and connection.”
-New York Times Book Review

“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)

“[Kingsolver] hasn’t lost her touch...she delivers her signature blend of exotic locale, political backdrop and immediately engaging story line...teems with dark beauty.”
-People

“[Kingsolver] stirs the real with the imagined to produce a breathtakingly ambitious book, bold and rich…hopeful, political and artistic. The Lacuna fills a lacuna with powerfully imagined social history
-Kansas City Star

Indie Bookstore Finder

Indie Bestsellers

All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr
Scribner Book Company
Landline
Rainbow Rowell
St. Martin's Press
New and Selected Poems
David Lehman
Scribner
Still Some Cake
James Cummins
Carnegie-Mellon University Press

Make Your Own Wishlist








Update Profile