A Tale of the Dispossessed/La Multitud Errante: A Novel (English and Spanish Edition)

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9780060723705: A Tale of the Dispossessed/La Multitud Errante: A Novel (English and Spanish Edition)

"How can I tell him that he will never find her, after he has been searching for her all his life? If I could talk to him without breaking his heart, there is something I would tell him, in hopes it would stop his sleepless nights and wrongheaded search for a shadow. I would repeat this to him: 'Your Matilde Lina is in limbo, the dwelling place of those who are neither dead nor alive.' But that would be like severing the roots of the tree that supports him. Besides, why do it if he is not going to believe me."

In the midst of war, the protagonists of A Tale of the Dispossessed are continuously searching: for a promised land, a destiny, the face of a woman who has disappeared -- searching for an impossible love and, conversely, for a love that is possible.

A way station for refugees from violence is the setting for an intense love triangle in which an uprooted and wandering people lead the reader to experience the collective drama of forced relocation. A Tale of the Dispossessed speaks to us about the inexorable law that has led man, expelled from paradise since the days of Adam through to modern times, in his search for a way back home.

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About the Author:

Laura Restrepo is the bestselling author of six novels, including The Dark Bride, A Tale of the Dispossessed, and Delirio, which received Spain's prestigious Alfaguara Prize. She lives in Colombia.

Laura Restrepo fue profesora de literatura en la Universidad de Colombia, editora política en la revista Semana y miembro de la Comisión Nacional para la Paz. Ha escrito destacadas novelas tales como Leopardo al sol; Dulce Compañía, que obtuvo el premio Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz en México y el premio France Culture en Francia; y Delirio, que obtuvo el premio Alfaguara. Actualmente vive en Bogotá, Colombia.

From Publishers Weekly:

This slim volume offers Spanish and English versions of a novella about an encounter between strangers amid political chaos. Set in Tora, Colombia (where Restrepo's The Dark Bride was set), during a war, the work has a timeless, open quality that could situate it almost anywhere in time and place. Readers learn, through the perspective of a nameless narrator who works at a convent sheltering "the displaced," about the mysterious man Three Sevens, a new arrival at the refuge. Three Sevens is desperate to locate Matilde Lina, the laundress who rescued and raised him, from whom he was forcibly separated as a teenager during the Little War. The narrator, offering him room and board, falls in love with him, but must compete with his Oedipal attachment to Matilde Lina ("The world tastes of her," he says). Thus begins a spare but symbolic love story, a modern-day fairy tale with Freudian trimmings. Restrepo, a journalist, activist and academic, employs a singular, accessible voice that melds her political sensibilities with hints of magical realism. The author has been lauded by Gabriel García Márquez, and this book will fit snugly into the canon of modern Latin American literature. Even as it describes violence and fear, it shimmers with an almost innocent charm and a quiet lyricism.
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