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book cover of In the Blue House

In the Blue House

(2001)
(In the Casa Azul)
A novel by

 
 
In the Blue House is a fragmented text, with disparate voices answering each other back through the tumultuous decades of the first half of the 20th century. Russian exile Leon Trotsky and beautiful Mexican artist Frida Kahlo are the two characters who join the voices. The couple had a brief love affair in the 1930s when Trotsky was warmly offered a refuge from Stalin in Mexico. Their voices, though, are only two among many. Stalin and Trotsky feature as children in pre-revolution Russia, and as grown men ripping apart their country with their conflicting ideas. Stalin's wife tells of her growing discomfort with her status and with her husband in cold Moscow, while Trotsky's wife contrasts this with her tales of her affection for her husband and their intimacy in the heat of Mexico. The tales and voices of those whom history has forgotten also figure, such as doctors and engineers in the USSR; Trotsky's bodyguard and assassin; Trotsky's father; and a one-legged Mexican Judas-maker.Delahunt's novel manages to be both an affectionate portrait of "El Viejo", the "Old Man", and also a disturbing insight into the consequences of the revolution of which he was a part. The fragmented structure of the text, with so many voices fighting for attention, darting back and forth from 1932 to 1917, or from 1940 to 1952, can be confusing. A "dramatis personae" would be useful, and perhaps a timeline of Russian history--though this might ruin the effect of the non-sequential narrative. For those readers with very little knowledge of the Russian revolution and its aftermath in the first half of the 20th century, this book reads best entirely as a work of fiction. For those with historical knowledge at their fingertips, it may make real people more real and allow their voices to be heard. --Olivia Dickinson

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Used availability for Meaghan Delahunt's In the Blue House

Hardback Editions

April 2002 : USA Hardback
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Title: In the Casa Azul: A Novel of Revolution and Betrayal
Author(s): Meaghan Delahunt
ISBN: 0-312-29106-X / 978-0-312-29106-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2001 : UK Hardback
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Title: In the Blue House
Author(s): Meaghan Delahunt
ISBN: 0-7475-5236-3 / 978-0-7475-5236-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

May 2003 : USA Paperback
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Title: In the Casa Azul: A Novel of Revolution and Betrayal
Author(s): Meaghan Delahunt
ISBN: 0-312-29107-8 / 978-0-312-29107-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2002 : UK Paperback
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Title: In the Blue House
Author(s): Meaghan Delahunt
ISBN: 0-7475-5765-9 / 978-0-7475-5765-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2001 : UK Paperback
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Title: In the Blue House
Author(s): Meaghan Delahunt
ISBN: 0-7475-5359-9 / 978-0-7475-5359-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

May 2013 : USA Kindle edition
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Title: In the Casa Azul: A Novel of Revolution and Betrayal
Author(s): Meaghan Delahunt
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Availability: Amazon