The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana (Hardcover)

By Umberto Eco, Geoffrey Brock (Translator)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780151011407, 480pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2005



Yambo, a sixtyish rare-book dealer who lives in Milan, has suffered a loss of memory-he can remember the plot of every book he has ever read, every line of poetry, but he no longer knows his own name, doesn't recognize his wife or his daughters, and remembers nothing about his parents or his childhood. In an effort to retrieve his past, he withdraws to the family home somewhere in the hills between Milan and Turin.There, in the sprawling attic, he searches through boxes of old newspapers, comics, records, photo albums, and adolescent diaries. And so Yambo relives the story of his generation: Mussolini, Catholic education and guilt, Josephine Baker, Flash Gordon, Fred Astaire. His memories run wild, and the life racing before his eyes takes the form of a graphic novel. Yambo struggles through the frames to capture one simple, innocent image: that of his first love.
A fascinating, abundant new novel-wide-ranging, nostalgic, funny, full of heart-from the incomparable Eco.

Praise For The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

"A richly variegated haul of medieval treasures . . . Compulsively readable."-THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"The kind of novel that changes our mind, replaces our reality with its own."-LOS ANGELES TIMES

"Like the labyrinthine library at its heart, this brilliant novel has many cunning passages and secret chambers . . . Fascinating . . . Ingenious . . . Dazzling."-NEWSWEEK

"Deeply cerebral, yet remarkably accessible...Eco delights his fans with an intellectual''s take on nostalgia.."

"A head-spinning tour through the corridors of history and popular culture, and one of this sly entertainer''s liveliest yet."

"The entertaining narrative fairly rips by. Another winner from Eco."

"An insidiously witty and provocative story"
-Richard Eder