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Perpendicular Lives

A novel by

Born under strange circumstances to a high-society teenager and a pentagenarian entrepreneur, Jerónimo Rodriguez Loera is off to an inauspicious start—then things get worse. Through an assemblage of records, letters, and firsthand testimony of Jerónimo’s past lives, Álvaro Enrigue creates a rich, observant, and dryly humorous account of class and clashing in Mexican society. Perpendicular Lives opens in 1930s Guadalajara, but as Jerónimo struggles toward maturity in a family plagued with infidelities, vanities, and favoritism, the story delves into Jerónimo’s previous lives as, among others, the Mongolian widow of a cloth merchant and a monkhunter with a penchant for gunslinging and public defecation. Under the breakdown of his ostensible parents’ marriage, political turmoil, and the hypocrisy of New World gentry, Jerónimo must fight for his place in his family—and the world.

Named as one of the Bogotá39 and recipient of the Joaquín Moritz Prize, Álvaro Enrigue is one of the foremost voices in Latin American literature. In Perpendicular Lives, Enrigue’s historical genius and mastery of myriad genres create an unconventional, unforgettable narrative that evokes the wry humor of Twain and the formal freedom of Joyce. The result is a mind-bending and absurdist bildungsroman that explores the meaning of the ties that bind us across class,

continents, and time.
Genre: Fantasy

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