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The Lacuna

af Barbara Kingsolver

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
5,1652541,953 (3.88)1 / 642
Shepherd vokser op i Mexico. Hans arbejde hos henholdsvis malerægteparret Frida Kahlo og Diego Rivera og kommunistlederen Trotskij gør, at han bliver nødt til at flygte til USA. Det lykkes ham her at slå igennem som forfatter, men han anklages for uamerikansk virksomhed.
  1. 120
    Gifttræets evangelium af Barbara Kingsolver (GreenVelvet)
  2. 71
    The Bean Trees | Animal Dreams | Pigs in Heaven af Barbara Kingsolver (readerbabe1984)
  3. 40
    Hjerter i chili af Laura Esquivel (Anonym bruger)
    Anonym bruger: It is set in Mexico and deals, obliquely and amusingly, with women's rights.
  4. 10
    Any Human Heart af William Boyd (lizchris)
    lizchris: A fictional character who encounters real people from history across their lifetime.
  5. 10
    Årene med Laura Díaz af Carlos Fuentes (charlie68)
    charlie68: Another Novel with Frida Kahlo as a character.
  6. 10
    Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? af Jeanette Winterson (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both books feature a lonely, gay child growing up, finding salvation in books.
  7. 11
    Sonntagsträumerei in der Alameda und andere Erzählungen, af Bodo Uhse (edwinbcn)
  8. 00
    Trust af Hernan Diaz (allthegoodbooks)
    allthegoodbooks: One of the themes of The Lacuna is about truth and who is telling it. This is the same in Trust. Both use different genre to do this and both leave the answer open as to how and who you should trust.
Indlæser...

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Gruppe EmneKommentarerSeneste Meddelelse 
 Orange January/July: [The Lacuna] by [[Barbara Kingsolver]]7 ulæste / 7rainpebble, juli 2011

» Se også 642 omtaler

Engelsk (253)  Fransk (1)  Alle sprog (254)
Viser 1-5 af 254 (næste | vis alle)
Got about half way through and then finally decided to quit. I've really enjoyed Kingsolver's other books, but this one doesn't even seem like it was by the same author. The dialogue is especially clumsy and the imagined scenes with Frida Kahlo were almost painful to read. ( )
  lschiff | Sep 24, 2023 |
I am fascinated with all things Frida Kahlo, and this novel enriches that story while building multiple layers around the life of the narrator. As usual, a Kingsolver work of beauty. ( )
  schoenbc70 | Sep 2, 2023 |
Does Kingsolver ever write a short novel?

This is a novel that goes backwards and forwards, crossing the border between Mexico and America often during difficult times. Starting in the 30s with the art of Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera in Mexico, crossing when Trotsky who lived with them was stabbed and killed and then back into Mexico during the McCarthy witch-hunts. Politics and art are the twin engines that drive this novel.

Harrison Shepherd is the fictional character Kingsolver has inserted into the factual information as a conduit for the messages of the book. Born in America, he travels with his mother to Mexico on her never-ending chase after men who would keep her. At one point, When they live near the sea, Harrison swims often, he finds a lacuna at low tide with a tunnel that brings him up deep in the jungle, far away from everything. Of course it brings to mind rebirth.

He starts to work for Rivera as a cook and then a plaster-maker for his murals and a sometime secretary for Lev Trotsky. He was present when Trotsky was stabbed and killed on the second attempt to take his life and never really got over the trauma of the event.

Diaries, news reports, journals and letters along with transcripts of official documents are used throughout the book to tell part of the story of this quiet man who found himself in the middle of events that would backfire on him. These documents are an important part of the book, showing us how we gather information and find the 'truth'. There are several instances when misunderstandings occur - some with greater consequences than others. The book opens with Harrison and his mother hearing the 'howlers' in the jungle and thinking they are flesh-eating devils only to discover a bit later on that they are monkeys. Political biases are shown through actual news reports and personal views are revealed through journals.

They have the effect in the second half of the story of distancing the narrative which coupled with Shepherd unable to face people or go outside, fame does not sit comfortably with him, leaves us wanting more of him. But I think this is deliberate. As the country becomes more and more fearful, politicians do not want images that suggest all is not OK whether they are painted or written. Kingsolver has mentioned that the time after 9/11 was one of the starting points for the book. I think those that rule distance themselves from groups of people they blame at times like this and 'clamp down' and if you should fall into one of the groups that are persued, you need to keep your head down and distance yourself from the machinations of government.

Mixed identify is often a rich mine for novelists and so it is here. Shepherd is neither American or Mexican and so finds himself at a loss in both places on occasion. What Shepherd is good at, apart from writing, is friendship and one of the highlights in the book, for me, is his friendship with Kahlo. It is warm, witty and thoughtful and she is very helpful towards him as a writer at the start of his career. Their letters are a joy.

His relationship with his stenographer, Violet Brown, is another rich area of his life. Their discussions are again warm and full of wisdom, particularly from Violet and prevent Shepherd from completely fading away in his own life.

Lacuna can mean a missing piece and there are so many in this book. Harrison himself has a missing piece, some of his journals go missing, there's the missing truth when the papers report on the first attempt to kill Trotsky and in the end Shepherd himself is missing. If there are missing pieces, can we ever know the truth?

During his McCarthy trial, Shepherd is asked what the purpose of art is.

"The purpose of art is to eleveate the spirit or to pay the surgeon's bill. Or both, really. It can help a a person remember or forget. If your house has no windows in it, you can hang a painting and have a view of a whole different country. If your spouse is homely, you can gaze at a lovely face and not get into trouble for it."
audiobook

The book comes full circle with the 'howlers' of the communist hunt and the newspapers as their voices and Shepherd loses everything - his readers, his lover and his small place that he had built in American society. They really could be read as flesh-eating monsters. And then he loses himself. ( )
  allthegoodbooks | Sep 1, 2023 |
Reason read: Alpha BK, ROOT (on shelf since 2012.

I read a kindle version and listened to the audio read by the author.
The story spans 1929 to 1950 and is centered on a boy/man Harrison Shepherd born in the US of a Mexican mother and Gringolandia father. Harrison wants only to write. He isn't that political, he doesn't even vote but his life has been one of politics and class structure. The interesting parts are of Frida Kahlo, the artist and Trotsky the Russian who takes refuge from Stalin in Mexico. It also covers McCarthyism. Over and over the story points out that newspapers cannot be believed. They report what they want and they lie rather than find out the truth. My thoughts; not much really has changed; politics and newspapers are still not to be trusted. It doesn't matter right, left. ( )
  Kristelh | Jun 20, 2023 |
Definitely a worthy novel in Kingsolver's lineup. I found it funny to see how all over the place the GR reviews were. I really liked the Mexico and Rivera/Kahlo portions, colorful and gripping. The McCarthy era stuff not so much, that and other painful episodes in American history were hard reading. It left me with a lot of historical things to look at further, which I suspect may have been part of the author's intention. Liked the characters very much, especially Violet Brown. ( )
  JudyGibson | Jan 26, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 254 (næste | vis alle)
Kingsolver, at the top of her craft, builds pyramids of language and scenic highways through mountains of facts, while plotting a mostly tight course through the fictional premises that convey her writing’s social conscience. In this book, pacifism, social justice, and free expression are the standards she shoulders.
tilføjet af Shortride | RedigerBookforum, Celia McGee (Dec 1, 2009)
 
“The Lacuna” can be enjoyed sheerly for the music of its passages on nature, archaeology, food and friendship; or for its portraits of real and invented people; or for its harmonious choir of voices. But the fuller value of Kingsolver’s novel lies in its call to conscience and connection.
 
Barbara Kingsolver's new novel, "The Lacuna," is the most mature and ambitious one she's written during her celebrated 20-year career, but it's also her most demanding. Spanning three decades, the story comes to us as a collection of diary entries and memoir, punctuated by archivist's notes, newspaper articles, letters, book reviews and congressional transcripts involving some of the 20th century's most radical figures. The sweetness that leavened "The Bean Trees" and "Animal Dreams" has been burned away, and the lurid melodrama that enlivened "The Poisonwood Bible" has been replaced by the cool realism of a narrator who feels permanently alienated from the world.
tilføjet af zhejw | RedigerThe Washington Post, Ron Charles (Nov 4, 2009)
 
A serious problem with The Lacuna is telegraphed in its striking title. "Lacuna" refers to a gap or something that's absent. The motif of the crucial missing piece runs throughout the novel, but the thing unintentionally missing here is an engaging main character. Our hero, Harrison Shepherd, is an accidental onlooker to history buffeted by other people's plans and passions.
 
Narrated in the form of letters, diary entries and newspaper clippings, the novel takes a while to get going, but once it does, it achieves a rare dramatic power that reaches its emotional peak when Harrison wittily and eloquently defends himself before the House Un-American Activities Committee (on the panel is a young Dick Nixon). Employed by the American imagination, is how one character describes Harrison, a term that could apply equally to Kingsolver as she masterfully resurrects a dark period in American history with the assured hand of a true literary artist.
tilføjet af khuggard | RedigerPublishers Weekly
 

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Kingsolver, Barbaraprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Aubert, MartineTraductionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Shepherd vokser op i Mexico. Hans arbejde hos henholdsvis malerægteparret Frida Kahlo og Diego Rivera og kommunistlederen Trotskij gør, at han bliver nødt til at flygte til USA. Det lykkes ham her at slå igennem som forfatter, men han anklages for uamerikansk virksomhed.

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