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The News from Paraguay: A Novel Paperback – November 30, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial; Reprint edition (November 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739451596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739451595
  • ASIN: 0060934867
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,102,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Beautiful Ella Lynch left her native Ireland at 10 and married a French officer at 15; by 19, she is divorced, living with a Russian count and struggling to pay her embittered maid. Thus she's in prime shape to appreciate the quick and ardent attentions of Francisco Solano Lopez, aka Franco, the future dictator of Paraguay, when he spies her on horseback in a Paris park in 1854. Rich, generous and not unhandsome, he makes an appealing lover, and soon Ella is off with him to Paraguay, which he vows to make "a country exactly like France." The story unfolds through Tuck's elegant narration (she flits from one character's point-of-view to another in short segments) and Ella's impassioned diaries. The author's research is impressive (Ella was a real 19th-century courtesan) but never overbearing as she explores the life of a spoiled kept woman in a foreign land, as well as the lives, both high and low, of those around her. Established as Franco's mistress in Asunción, Ella bears Franco many sons, while Franco succeeds his father as ruler and acquires mistress after mistress. Tuck (Siam; Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived) weaves in the stories of Franco's fat, jealous sisters; a disgraced Philadelphia doctor; Ella's wet nurses; and a righteous U.S. minister, among many others, in a richly layered evocation of a complicated world. When Paraguay finds itself at odds with neighboring countries, the novel chronicles the various tragedies and defeats with a cool and unswerving eye. Tuck's novel may not be for the faint of heart, but it is a rich and rewarding read.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From The New Yorker

Tuck's historical novel of nineteenth-century Paraguay is told largely through (and sometimes in the voice of) Ella Lynch, a blond, fair-skinned Irishwoman who, while a courtesan in Paris, met Francisco Solano Lopez, the son of Paraguay's dictator. She became his mistress and, after Lopez (known as Franco) succeeded his father, she was the most powerful woman in the country. As an Irishwoman in Paraguay, Tuck's Ella is an outsider. But so, in a way, is Franco, a megalomaniac who builds a theatre modelled on La Scala and wages a disastrous war against Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Paraguay's malarial swamps and faux-European high society are the perfect setting for Tuck's dark wit, and her novel is quickened by such details as Ella's pink marble palace and her son's "necklace" made from the ears of enemy soldiers on a rawhide string.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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