Written by Jean-Marie Blas de Robles; Translated by Mike Mitchell
Winner of the Prix Médicis, this multifaceted literary novel follows the Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher across 17th century Europe and Eleazard von Wogau, a retired French correspondent, through modern Brazil.
When Eleazard begins editing a strange, unpublished biography of Kircher, the rest of his life seems to begin unraveling—his ex-wife goes on a dangerous geological expedition to Mato Grosso; his daughter abandons school to travel with her young professor and her lesbian lover to an indigenous beach town, where the trio use drugs and form interdependent sexual relationships; and Eleazard himself starts losing his sanity, escalated by loneliness, and his work on the biography. Patterns begin to emerge from these interwoven narratives, which develop toward a mesmerizing climax.
Late in de Roblès’ remarkable novel, a tribal shaman chants, “Soon the Messenger will guide us to that mountain where visions cascade down uninterruptedly.” This dazzling book is itself such a mountain, overflowing with visions that dramatically enlarge the reader’s imaginative horizons.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Psychodrama meets history meets mystery—vintage Umberto Eco territory, as practiced by French philosophy professor turned novelist Blas de Roblès.” —Kirkus
Read an excerpt, enjoy!