The Way to Paradise: A Novel

Front Cover
Macmillan, 2004 - Fiction - 454 pages

A New York Times Notable Book

Flora Tristán, the illegitimate child of a wealthy Peruvian father and French mother, grows up in poverty and journeys to Peru to demand her inheritance. On her return in 1844, she makes her name as a champion of the downtrodden, touring the French countryside to recruit members for her Workers' Union.
In 1891, Flora's grandson, struggling painter and stubborn visionary Paul Gauguin, abandons his wife and five children for life in the South Seas, where his dreams of paradise are poisoned by syphilis, the stifling forces of French colonialism, and a chronic lack of funds, though he has his pick of teenage Tahitian lovers and paints some of his greatest works.

Flora died before her grandson was born, but their travels and obsessions unfold side by side in this double portrait, a rare study in passion and ambition, as well as the obstinate pursuit of greatness in the face of illness and death.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lriley - LibraryThing

A fun book to read. More of a kind of historical fiction with Vargas Llosa alternating his chapters between the life of one Florita (Flora) Tristan and that of her grandson the very well known French ... Read full review

The way to paradise

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The tragic and romantic life of artist Paul Gauguin has long been an inspiration for writers of fiction; Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence was based loosely on his story, and Gauguin himself ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

FLORA IN AUXERRE
3
THE SPIRIT OF THE DEAD WATCHES
15
BASTARD AND FUGITIVE
37
MYSTERIOUS WATERS
56
THE SHADOW OF CHARLES FOURIER
76
ANNAH FROM JAVA
96
NEWS FROM PERU
115
PORTRAIT OF ALINE GAUGUIN
135
THE NUN GUTIÉRREZ
233
WRESTLING WITH THE ANGEL
254
THE BATTLE OF CANGALLO
275
THE HOUSE OF PLEASURE
299
WORDS TO CHANGE THE WORLD
322
THE LATEBLOOMING VICE
341
THE MONSTERCITY
365
THE SORCERER OF HIVA OA
389

THE CROSSING
155
NEVERMORE
176
AREQUIPA
196
WHAT ARE WE?
218
THE LAST BATTLE
411
PINK HORSES
432
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About the author (2004)

MARIO VARGAS LLOSA was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010 "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat." Peru's foremost writer, he has been awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's most distinguished literary honor, and the Jerusalem Prize. His many works include The Feast of the Goat, The Bad Girl, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The War of the End of the World, and The Storyteller. He lives in London.

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