Distant Relations begins in the elegant Automobile club de France as an elderly Count tells a story to the unnamed narrator. But the book does not remain here in the cafe, nor even in France. Instead, as the Count speaks, the story moves across time and space, from Latin America to Europe, from generation to generation. We hear of Hugo, a noted Mexican archeologist, and of his young son, Victor, who were once the Count's houseguests. He tells of their time in France, of their complicated pasts and their uncertain relationships. This is a story of lost memory and failed promises, one about the past's unbending influence on the present. Distant Relations is an ambitious novel whose tale of confused familial relations explodes into one about the conflict between the Old World and the New.
The Good Conscience is Carlos Fuentes's second novel. The scene is Guanajuato, a provincial capital in Central Mexico, once one of the world's richest mining centers. The Ceballos family has been reinstated to power, and adolescent Jaime Ceballos, its only heir, is torn between the practical reality of his family's life and the idealism of his youth and his Catholic education. His father is a good man but weak; his uncle is powerful, yet his actions are inconsistent with his professed beliefs. Jaime's struggle to emerge as a man with a "good conscience" forms the theme of the book: can a rebel correct the evils of an established system and at the same time retain the integrity of his principles?
Here is a true literary event–the long-awaited new novel by Carlos Fuentes, one of the world’s great writers. By turns a tragedy and a farce, an acidic black comedy and an indictment of modern politics, The Eagle’s Throne is a seriously entertaining and perceptive story of international intrigue, sexual deception, naked ambition, and treacherous betrayal.
In the near future, at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Mexico’s idealistic president has dared to vote against the U.S. occupation of Colombia and Washington’s refusal to pay OPEC prices for oil. Retaliation is swift. Concocting a “glitch” in a Florida satellite, America’s president cuts Mexico’s communications systems–no phones, faxes, or e-mails–and plunges the country into an administrative nightmare of colossal proportions.
Now, despite the motto that “a Mexican politician never puts anything in writing,” people have no choice but to communicate through letters, which Fuentes crafts with a keen understanding of man’s motives and desires. As the blizzard of activity grows more and more complex, political adversaries come out to prey. The ineffectual president, his scheming cabinet secretary, a thuggish and ruthless police chief, and an unscrupulous, sensual kingmaker are just a few of the fascinating characters maneuvering and jockeying for position to achieve the power they all so desperately crave.
From the Hardcover edition.
Laura Diaz is a passionate character, intimately connected to many historical events. Through her story, Fuentes writes the journal of the Mexican twentieth century, supporting his novel with facts and characters that define the shape of today's Mexico.
On New Year's Eve in 1969, a novelist in his forties meets the beautiful movie actress Diana Soren at a party and is fascinated by her oddly elusive charm. But in this novel from Carlos Fuentes, his infatuation turns into doomed pursuit as the fleeting object of his desire spurns him, and he is forced to reconsider the foundations of his life as a writer.
The internationally acclaimed author Carlos Fuentes, winner of the Cervantes Prize and the Latin Civilization Award, delivers a stunning work of fiction about family and love across an expanse of Mexican life, reminding us why he has been called “a combination of Poe, Baudelaire, and Isak Dinesen” (Newsweek).
In these masterly vignettes, Fuentes explores Tolstoy’s classic observation that “happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” In “A Family Like Any Other,” each member of the Pagan family lives in isolation, despite sharing a tiny house. In “The Mariachi’s Mother,” the limitless devotion of a woman is revealed as she secretly tends to her estranged son’s wounds. “Sweethearts” reunites old lovers unexpectedly and opens up the possibilities for other lives and other loves. These are just a few of the remarkable stories in Happy Families, but they all inhabit Fuentes’s trademark Mexico, where modern obsessions bump up against those of the mythic past, and the result is a triumphant display of the many ways we reach out to one another and find salvation through irrepressible acts of love.
In this spectacular translation, the acclaimed Edith Grossman captures the full weight of Fuentes’s range. Whether writing in the language of the street or in straightforward, elegant prose, Fuentes gives us stories connected by love, including the failure of love–between spouses, lovers, parents and children, siblings. From the Mexican presidential palace to the novels of the poor and the vast expanse of humanity in between, Happy Families is a magnificent portrait of modern life in all its complicated beauty, as told by one of the world’s most celebrated writers.
Praise for Carlos Fuentes
Winner of the Cervantes Prize
- The Old Gringo *
“A dazzling novel that possesses the weight and resonance of myth [and] the fierce magic of a remembered dream.”
–The New York Times
- The Death of Artemio Cruz *
“Remarkable in the scope of the human drama it pictures, the corrosive satire and sharp dialogue.”
*–The New York Times Book Review *
- The Years with Laura Díaz *
“Reading this magnificent novel is like standing beneath the dome of the Sistine Chapel. . . . The breadth and enormity of this accomplishment is breathtaking.”
–The Denver Post
- This I Believe *
“Engaging, offering surprising conclusions, provocations or turns of phrase . . . Put down the page-turner and dare to drink these full-bodied, red, shining words.”
–Los Angeles Times Book Review
The Eagle’s Throne *
“Dazzling, razor-sharp . . . prescient . . . a feast of political insight.”
–The Washington Post Book World
From the Hardcover edition.
In this witty and enthralling saga of revolutionary South America, Carlos Fuentes explores the period of profound upheaval he calls" the romantic time." His hero, Baltasar Bustos, the son of a wealthy landowner, kidnaps the baby of a prominent judge, replacing it with the black baby of a prostitute. When he catches sight of the baby's mother, though, he falls instatnly in love with her and sets off on an anguished journey to repent his act and win her love.
Contains five short stories. In the title story a loving and contented husband discovers the true nature of his marriage, as though he has walked through a mirror and found that the life held in the glass was not his own at all.
Hailed as a masterpiece since its publication in 1962, The Death of Artemio Cruz is Carlos Fuentes's haunting voyage into the soul of modern Mexico. Its acknowledged place in Latin American fiction and its appeal to a fresh generation of readers have warranted this new translation by Alfred Mac Adam, translator (with the author) of Fuentes's Christopher Unborn.
As in all his fiction, but perhaps most powerfully in this book, Fuentes is a passionate guide to the ironies of Mexican history, the burden of its past, and the anguish of its present.
Urbane stories – almost all set in Mexico City. The weakest tales here simply exploit a single metaphor: in «Chac-Mool», a collector buys a pre-Columbian statue of a god, and the god turns into flesh; in «In a Flemish Garden», a Europeanized house is haunted by the Empress Carlotta. But the strongest of them take on Mexico City's schizoid energy in total. An old bachelor, mother-stifled, lives alone in a crumbling house and keeps to the genteel practices of 30 years before (wakes late, eats in one restaurant, wears spats and a bowler): he's eventually murdered by the street hustlers who are his cultural opposites. «The Two Elenas» portrays a young woman so desperate to be hip and ‘with-it’, decultured, that she becomes a mirror image of herself, her own bouncing infinity. And the final story, «The Son of Andres Aparacio», is perhaps the best: a rolling, careening, ashy tale of a young man without prospect who becomes involved with a neo-Fascist brigade of terrorists: here Fuentes is able to run without a leash what he knows best – disappointment. In general, however, stories are a less hospitable form for this writer than are novels, and the single ideas here mostly seem merely tantalizing, not a full measure.
Winner of the Cervantes Prize
Carlos Fuentes, one of the world’s most acclaimed authors, is at the height of his powers in this stunning new novel—a magnificent epic of passion, magic, and desire in modern Mexico, a rich and remarkable tapestry set in a world where free will fights with the wishes of the gods.
Josué Nadal has lost more than his innocence: He has been robbed of his life—and his posthumous narration sets the tone for a brilliantly written novel that blends mysticism and realism. Josué tells of his fateful meeting as a skinny, awkward teen with Jericó, the vigorous boy who will become his twin, his best friend, and his shadow. Both orphans, the two young men intend to spend their lives in intellectual pursuit—until they enter an adult landscape of sex, crime, and ambition that will test their pledge and alter their lives forever.
Idealistic Josué goes to work for a high-tech visionary whose stunning assistant will introduce him to a life of desire; cynical Jericó is enlisted by the Mexican president in a scheme to sell happiness to the impoverished masses. On his journey into a web of illegality in which he will be estranged from Jericó, Josué is aided and impeded by a cast of unforgettable characters: a mad, imprisoned murderer with a warning of revenge, an elegant aviatrix and addict seeking to be saved, a prostitute shared by both men who may have murdered her way into a brilliant marriage, and the prophet Ezekiel himself.
Mixing ancient mythologies with the sensuousness and avarice and need of the twenty-first century, Destiny and Desire is a monumental achievement from one of the masters of contemporary literature.
From the Hardcover edition.
This eBook edition of Carlos Fuentes' novel includes only the English translation by Lysander Kemp. The Spanish text is not included.
Felipe Montero is employed in the house of an aged widow to edit her deceased husband's memoirs. There Felipe meets her beautiful green-eyed niece, Aura. His passion for Aura and his gradual discovery of the true relationship between the young woman and her aunt propel the story to its extraordinary conclusion.
From Mexico’s preeminent man of letters, “a Balzacian novel in nine masterly stories” (Vanity Fair) that explores the “uneven and painful meshing of two North american cultures” (Washington Post Book World). A New York Times Notable Book of the Year. A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Translated by Alfred Mac Adam.
It is 1992 and the sky over Makesicko City is black with oily, carboniferous rain. Here there are 28 million people and 128 million rats. Gangs of homeless youths speaking Spanglish - or Anglatl - roam the chaotic, violent streets... Observing all this, commenting and reflecting, is Christopher, still unborn in his mother's womb. His parents have conceived him so that he can be entered for the great Christopher Columbus prize, being the first child born on 12 October 1992, 500 years after the discovery of the New World...