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The Dancer and the Thief

A novel by

This "powerful, humane," prize-winning novel of politics, ballet, and a spectacular heist by a reluctant master thief and his eager young protégé, "conjures...a contemporary Santiago, Chile, where the memory of Pinochet's reign and the 'disappearing' of citizens still looms" (Publishers Weekly). With prisons overflowing in Chile, the president declares a general amnesty for all nonviolent criminals. Ángel Santiago, a youth determined to avenge abuse he received in jail, seeks out the notorious bank robber Nicolás Vergara Grey, whose front-page exploits won him a reputation he would rather leave behind. Their plan for an ambitious and daring robbery is complicated by the galvanizing presence of Victoria Ponce, a virtuosic dancer and high-school dropout whose father was a victim of the regime.

Praised for his "ability to place a personal story in the context of a national upheaval and make it warm, funny and universal" (San Francisco Chronicle), Antonio Skármeta sets this exuberant love story against the backdrop of the new Chile, free from the Pinochet dictatorship but beholden to the perils of globalization. The Dancer and the Thief, which won Spain's prestigious Planeta Prize, is a remarkable new novel from one of South America's finest storytellers. Reading group guide included.

"Skármeta's gift is the ability to place a personal story in the context of a national upheaval and make it warm, funny and universal." - Carlos Alcala, San Francisco Chronicle

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Traps the reader from the first page with its political undertones and its undeniable charm." - Isabel Allende

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