Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel in nine years is an engrossing story of
revolution, art, searching for one’s place, all wrapped up in the
atmosphere of 1930s Mexico topped with a tasty dollop of political
machinations. Harrison William Shepherd spends his formative years in
the household of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It’s there that he meets
Leon Trotsky, becoming enmeshed in an unlikely group of bodyguards and
politicos and seduced by this exotic and dangerous life. The story is
told through narrative, letters, journal entries and articles as we
follow Shepherd from Mexico back to the states, looking and yearning for
a place to belong. This quiet man’s story is as colorful, textured and
intriguing as a Kahlo painting.
A Hudson Best Book of 2009
“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
“Kingsolver's first novel in nine years has a compelling, provocative storyline that takes place between Mexico City and the United States in the period from the 1930s to the 1950s. A young Mexican-American man finds himself caught up in the creative and political household of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. He mixes plaster for the muralist, types letters for Leon Trotsky, and befriends Frida. The Lacuna is a solid example of Kingsolver's expertise in combining politics and fiction. The philosophy of Communism and the innate need for freedom of expression raise their demanding fists in this young man's story, and they won't let the reader go.”
— Dianne Patrick, Snowbound Books, Marquette, MI
New York Times bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna is an ambitious and gripping historical novel about Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Communism, and one man’s epic search for identity in Mexico and the United States.
The author of The Poisonwood Bible; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and more; Kingsolver tells the complex, gripping tale of Harrison William Shepherd, a writer whose journey from the 1920s to the ’50s allows him to witness the tumultuous lives of artists Rivera and Kahlo in Mexico, the politics of Leon Trotsky, and the bullying tactics of J. Edgar Hoover and McCarthyism in Washington, D.C.
The Lacuna, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, is written with Kingsolver’s masterful lyricism as she blends real and fictional characters and events in a poignant story of a man torn between two nations and the impact of history on art and artists.
This Harper Perennial Deluxe Modern Classic features beautiful cover artwork on uncoated stock, French flaps, and deckle-edge pages.
Barbara Kingsolver is the author of nine bestselling works of fiction, including the novels, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work of narrative nonfiction is the enormously influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her body of work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.