THE SKY OVER LIMA

Juan Gomez Barcena & Andrea Rosenberg

Winner of the 2014 Ojo Crítico Literary Prize

 

An official selection of the Festival du premier roman in Chambéry

A retelling of a fantastical true story: two young men seduce Nobel laureate Juan Ramón Jiménez with the words of an imaginary woman and inspire one of his greatest love poems.

José Gálvez and Carlos Rodríguez are poets. Or, at least, they’d like to be. Sons of Lima’s elite in the early twentieth century, they scribble bad verses and read the greats: Rilke, Rimbaud, and, above all others,

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Winner of the 2014 Ojo Crítico Literary Prize

 

An official selection of the Festival du premier roman in Chambéry

A retelling of a fantastical true story: two young men seduce Nobel laureate Juan Ramón Jiménez with the words of an imaginary woman and inspire one of his greatest love poems.

José Gálvez and Carlos Rodríguez are poets. Or, at least, they’d like to be. Sons of Lima’s elite in the early twentieth century, they scribble bad verses and read the greats: Rilke, Rimbaud, and, above all others, Juan Ramón Jímenez, the Spanish Maestro. Desperate for Jímenez’s latest work, unavailable in Lima, they decide to ask him for a copy.

They’re sure Jímenez won’t send two dilettantes his book, but he might favor a beautiful woman. They write to him as the lovely, imaginary Georgina Hübner. Jímenez responds with a letter and a book. Elated, José and Carlos write back. Their correspondence continues, as the Maestro falls in love with Georgina, and the boys abandon poetry for the pages of Jímenez’s life.

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  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Hardcover
  • May 2016
  • 288 Pages
  • 9780544630055

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$25.00

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About Juan Gomez Barcena & Andrea Rosenberg

Juan Gomez Bárcena holds degrees in literary theory, comparative literature, and history from the Complutense University of Madrid, and a degree in philosophy from Spain’s National University of Distance Education. He’s the author of numerous essay, short story, and poetry collections, for which he’s received the José Hierro Prize for Poetry and Fiction, the International CRAPE Prize for stories, and the Ramón J. Sender Prize for Narrative, among others. The Sky over Lima is his first novel. He lives in Madrid.

Praise

This marvelous story is stitched together by the seduction of three epistolary lovers, distant acquaintances that together conquer reality and fantasy, transporting us to an imaginary world that is at once refreshing, comic, and sublime. The conquest in this novel, a game played by one writer and his readers, captivates, drawing us in through the seductive power of a monumental young author.”

—Laura Esquivel, bestselling author of Like Water for Chocolate and Malinche

Here’s a tale with the subtlest of stings in it, dark wit and telescopic perspective aplenty. And then there’s the intoxicating folly of the games that the protagonists play with fantasy and fact, malice, tenderness, ambition, envy and other forces that strike at our most vulnerable selves. I’ll be thinking of these characters, what they longed to create and what they managed to despoil, for a long time.” —Helen Oyeyemi, author of Boy Snow Bird and What Is Not Your Is Not Yours

Charming…A love letter to the creative process.” —Kirkus

An intriguing tale of transatlantic catfishing … Bárcena grounds the literary games in a richly detailed, early 20th-century Lima and its cast of secondary characters: dock workers, prostitutes, café-haunting literati. Its lightly ironic tone darkening as it proceeds, the novel sensitively explores how a literary prank shapes the sentimental, romantic, and moral education of Carlos.” —Publishers Weekly

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