The New York Times
The Lady Matador's Hotelby Cristina Garcia
National Book Award finalist Cristina García delivers a powerful and gorgeous novel about the intertwining lives of the denizens of a luxurious hotel in an unnamed Central American capital in the midst of political turmoil. The lives of six men and women converge over the course of one week. There is a Japanese-Mexican-American matadora in town for a
National Book Award finalist Cristina García delivers a powerful and gorgeous novel about the intertwining lives of the denizens of a luxurious hotel in an unnamed Central American capital in the midst of political turmoil. The lives of six men and women converge over the course of one week. There is a Japanese-Mexican-American matadora in town for a bull-fighting competition; an ex-guerrilla now working as a waitress in the hotel coffee shop; a Korean manufacturer with an underage mistress ensconced in the honeymoon suite; aninternational adoption lawyer of German descent; a colonel who committed atrocities during his country’s long civil war; and a Cuban poet who has come with his American wife to adopt a local infant. With each day, their lives become further entangled, resulting in the unexpected—the clash of histories and the pull of revenge and desire.Cristina García’s magnificent orchestration of politics, the intimacies of daily life, and the frailty of human nature unfolds in a moving, ambitious, often comic, and unforgettable tale.
The New York Times
“Garcia strides and twirls with a matador’s daring, grace, and focus as she enters the psyches of diverse, intense, and unnerving characters; choreographs converging and dramatic story lines; and confronts the pervasiveness of the inexplicable. Streamlined, sexy, darkly witty, and succinctly tragic, Garcia’s fifth sharply imagined novel of caustic social critique concentrates the horrors of oppression and violence into a compulsively readable tale of coiled fury and penetrating insight.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Skilled, sensuous and wry.” –Kirkus
“With beauty, elegance, and finesse, Cristina García weaves together a complex
tale in writing as stunning as the flourish of a matador’s cape. A brave
work told brilliantly. I toss you carnations, Cristina. ¡Brava!” —Sandra Cisneros
“In this novel of many hearts and voices, Cristina García enchants us with the lyricism and humor and political engagement that we've come to expect from her work. Thank goodness the Lady matador has opened her extraordinarily fascinating hotel to all of us via Cristina's keen eye and gorgeous prose."
—Edwidge Danticat, author of The Dew Breaker
“Garcia’s amazing is to depict psychologically complicated characters against the backdrop of a complicated society….Garcia is at the height of her imaginative powers, and The Lady Matador’s Hotel is a tour de force, at once hopeful and hopeless.” –Ms. Magazine
“The novel has the energy of an obsessive tango. Or, indeed, a bullfight.”
The New York Times Book Review
Six characters in an unnamed tropical city consider matters of life and death, sex and politics, in a brief, intense, imperfectly resolved chronicle of overlapping destinies.
Skilled, sensuous and wry, García (A Handbook to Luck, 2007, etc.) displays economy and impressionistic deftness via her diverse cast centered in the Hotel Miraflor, located in a volcanic, Latin American "wedge of forgotten land between continents." Here, after a recent history of violent political turmoil, an election is looming in which the ex-dictator is standing for president, while bombs explode in rival hotels. Meanwhile, Korean textile manufacturer Won Kim dreams of suicide for himself and his pregnant teenage mistress; guerrilla-turned-waitress Aura plots revenge on Colonel Abel for the savage murder of her brother; and lawyer Gertrudis Stüber sells babies to rich white visitorssuch as poet Ricardo Morán. But most eyes are on the thrillingly beautiful yet unattainable Suki Palacios, here to compete in the first Battle of the Lady Matadors in the Americas. Observing these characters over six days, as they pursue their preoccupations with birth, blood, desire and duty, García simultaneously evokes a corrupt, vibrant culture via snippets of news and gossip. More successful as a sequence of character portraits than a full narrative, the book concludes with some positive choices and some open-ended possibilities, yetremains short of a larger sense of narrative unity.
Six brightly located characters in search of more than synchronicity.
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- 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Meet the Author
Cristina García is the author of six novels, including the National Book Award finalist Dreaming in Cuban; children’s books; anthologies; and poetry. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Writers’ Award, among other honors, and is currently University Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University-San Marcos. Visit her website at CristinaGarciaNovelist.com.
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