The News from Paraguay by American author Lily Tuck is a good choice for those who want to read a historical novel about Paraguay. It is evident that she did a lot of research and there a lot of details about the time she chose to write. Although not considered a literary masterpiece, it memorably describes the period of Franco López.
The son of the Paraguayan president, ambassador Franco Lopez falls in love with Irish courtesan Eliza Alicia Lynch (Ella) while in Paris. After a while, the two set off for Paraguay and Ella gives birth to a son on the way. This son is the first of 5 sons Ella will give birth to in Paraguay.
When his father dies, Franco takes over the country and begins to destroy everything that stands in his way from now on. While trying to transform his country into a modern state, he does not hesitate to start a war. Like most dictators, he is paranoid and narcissistic. Ella, on the other hand, is blind, deaf and dumb on many issues, and takes advantage of all the blessings that this powerful lover offers her. The days full of wonder will surely end, and of course, this duo will find the end they deserve.
The book is a novel based on real events and people. As in every historical novel, facts and fiction are mixed. But as you can imagine, it’s more memorable than any textbook. Enjoy!
The News from Paraguay
The year is l854. In Paris, Francisco Solano — the future dictator of Paraguay — begins his courtship of the young. Beautiful Irish courtesan Ella Lynch with a poncho, a Paraguayan band, and a horse named Mathilde. Ella follows Franco to Asunción and reigns there as his mistress. Isolated and estranged in this new world, she embraces her lover’s ill-fated imperial dream. One fueled by a heedless arrogance that will devastate all of Paraguay.
With the urgency of the narrative, rich and intimate detail, and a wealth of skillfully layered characters. The News from Paraguay recalls the epic novels of Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa.
Lily Tuck is an American novelist and short-story writer. Whose novel The News from Paraguay won the 2004 National Book Award for Fiction. Her novel Siam was nominated for the 2000 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. She is a Guggenheim Fellow.
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