Friday, 16 July 2010
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
DATE READ: July 2010
NOTES: Lacuna – an empty space or a missing piece
This is an ambitious and brilliantly constructed novel. Harrison Shepherd is the son of a Mexican mother and American father. Mother takes him off to Mexico as a young boy as she pursues various men in the hope that they will look after her. Young Harrison winds up working for flamboyant artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahla. He is part of their household when Trotsky comes to stay and the whole tragedy of revolutionary politics unfolds before him.
From the beginning Harrison instinctively writes and records all that is going on around him. But it is not until well through the book that we begin to know how his writing has reached the printed page. After his return to the United States he successfully publishes two novels – but there are darker forces lurking and he is soon caught up in the anti-communistic witch hunts of the late 1940s.
Very impressive – highly recommended.