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The Way to Paradise

Mario Vargas Llosa

The Way to Paradise by the Nobel Prize-winner Mario Vargas Llosa interweaves the story of the painter Paul Gauguin with that of his grandmother, Flora Tristan.

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The Way to Paradise interweaves the story of the painter Paul Gauguin with that of his grandmother, Flora Tristan. In 1844, Flora embarked on a tour of France to campaign for workers’ and women’s rights. In 1891, her grandson set sail for Tahiti, determined to escape civilisation and seek out inspiration to paint his primitive masterpieces. Flora died before her grandson was born, but their travels and obsessions unravel side by side in this absorbing novel.

A rare study of passion, ambition and the determined pursuit of greatness in the face of illness, death and conservative forces, The Way to Paradise shows Mario Vargas Llosa at the peak of his powers.

Critic Reviews

The Way to Paradise weaves an extraordinarily rich double fantasia around Gauguin's life, strenuously explores qualities in the works, and sets moral issues in a far wider, more real historical world ... riveting stuff, beautifully written, wild, exact, and visually stunning.

Ruth Padel, Independent
Critic Reviews

The visionary painter of paradise [Gauguin] emerges as a misunderstood genius of the kind it takes a genius like Mario Vargas Llosa to understand.

Critic Reviews

Vargas Llosa's storytelling gifts are pretty much unrivalled ... His recreation of the tactile, sensuous, brilliant, whiffy details of the everyday is superb ... a fabulously abundant book.

Katherine Sale, Financial Times
Critic Reviews

What makes the novel so illuminating is the continuity between [the] parallel lives ... The novel is highly accomplished and teems with characters, ideas and incident.

Sebastian Shakespeare, Literary Review
Critic Reviews

Oddly affecting ... an engrossing, sometimes horrifying image of social conditions in France [from] one of the great Latin American novelists of his time.

The New York Times Book Review
Critic Reviews

Fascinating ... vivid ... it's in [Gauguin's] part of the story, so full of the contradictions of this yearning, difficult man, that Vargas Llosa makes the book come alive.

MarioVargas Llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Peru in 1936. He is the author of some of the last half-century’s most important novels, including The War of the End of the World, The Feast of the Goat, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter and Conversation in the Cathedral. In 2010 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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