Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sneak Peek Week: The Lady Matador's Hotel by Cristina Garcia

TC staff are already loving this book that comes out in September:

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.

Preorder your copy here.

Joe's review:
This is the first book I've read by Cristina Garcia, and it won't be the last! I completely enjoyed this slim novel. The book revolves around the Hotel Miraflor in some unnammed Central American capital. There are six interconnected stories, with hints of magical realism and the lushness of life that reminds me of Garcia Marquez and Vargas Llosa. Each of the characters were fully-realized, sympathetic and real, which is not an easy feat! I am looking forward to sharing this book with readers looking for a richly-imagined feast for the senses.

Pete's review:
The Lady Matador's Hotel tells the story of one week in an unnamed Central American
Capital at the upscale Hotel Miraflor. A series of bullfights and political elections fill the city with excitement and tension, while a fickle hurricane dances across the Caribbean waters. Anything can happen in such a charged climate. Anything to anyone.

The Lady Matador, Suki Palacios, is a study of otherworldly poise and beauty, single-minded and distant as she enters the ring and faces down the most ferocious of bulls. Nothing can touch Suki, the master of the ring, until something does.

I consider 'The Lady Matador's Hotel' a cousin to the bullfighting chapters in Hemingway's 'The Sun Also Rises.' But whereas his characters were fun and raucosand little out of control, Cristina Garcia's characters are more simmering and introspective, fighting the ghosts of the past (sometimes literally) as they challenge a murky present. They are right-wing military officers, leftist revolutionaries, shady adoption lawyers, a poet dreamer and a suicidal industrialist. All are helpless,spiraling into one another, creating an intolerable mix and a horrific confrontation.

Ms. Garcia's descriptiveness is unparalleled. The reader feels the sticky, stifling heat of equatorial America, the sudden, refreshing cloudbursts. She describes the intoxicating floral smell on one hand, but then the stench of poverty, garbage and putrefaction on the

All of this wondrous novel, its sensuality and magical thinking, all of it and more, fall under the spell of the enchanting, inscrutable Lady Matador. Will Suki finally defeat the menacing bull, but who really wins if she does?

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