The Way to Paradise

Front Cover
Faber & Faber, Aug 16, 2012 - Fiction - 384 pages

In 1844, Flora Tristan 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.

Flora, the illegitimate child of a wealthy Peruvian father and French mother, grows up in poverty, and after fleeing a brutal husband, journeys to Peru to demand her inheritance. On her return, she makes her name as a popular writer and a champion of the dispossessed, setting herself the arduous task of touring the French countryside to recruit members for her Workers' Union.

Paul, struggling, profligate painter and stubborn visionary, abandons his wife and five children for life in the South Seas, where his dreams of paradise are poisoned by poverty, syphilis and the stifling forces of French colonialism, though he has his pick of teenage Tahitian lovers and paints some of his greatest works.

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 a contemporary master at the peak of his powers.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gbill - LibraryThing

The interleaved stories of Flora Tristan, a woman and worker’s right advocate in 1840’s France, and her grandson Paul Gauguin, the post-impressionist painter who became famous for his work done in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - technodiabla - LibraryThing

I just finished The Way to Paradise by Mario Vargas Llosa. What a fantastic novel! This is the first Llhosa I've read and I'm hooked. The Way to Paradise is a dual fictionalized biography of Paul ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

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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