by Alfredo Bryce-Echenique
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Amazon Editorial Review
From the internationally acclaimed Peruvian writer—winner of the Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious literary award in the Spanish-speaking world—a tragicomic story of improbable, inevitable love.
At the center: a couple in love, in exile together and apart. He is Juan Manuel Carpio, a second-generation Peruvian of Native American origins, a middle-class singer-composer. She is Fernanda María de la Trinidad del Monte Montes, a polyglot and cultured Salvadoran. Through the mostly epistolary narrative set in 1960s Paris, revolutionary El Salvador, Chile, 1980s California, and London, we follow the thirty-year arc of their relationship.
At once cheerful, hopeful, and informed by a serene lack of sentimentality, the narrative—rich with the delights of paradox and hyperbole—sees the couple through disastrous and traumatic marriages to other people; the ups and downs of their respective careers; the inexorable effects of politics on their personal lives; their shifting passions and gradual realization that the truest bond between lovers is a tender, abiding, and respectful friendship.
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