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Delirium : a novel
Laura Restrepo
Adult Fiction RESTREP

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Aguilar, a former literature professor who now "delivers dog food in order to survive" returns from a trip to find his beloved wife, Agustina, has "transformed into someone terrified and terrifying"; his subsequent investigation into what happened forms the plot of this complex and captivating novel, Restrepo's sixth novel to be translated into English (after Isle of Passion). In reconstructing Agustina's privileged but troubled past, the novel intertwines several narratives, including the braggadocio of Agustina's former lover-and Pablo Escobar money launderer-Midas McAlister; the tragic tale of her German grandfather, Nicholas Portulinus; and Agustina's own pained reminiscences of a childhood centered around an aloof and domineering father whose affection she tried to win and from whose abuse she tried to protect her younger brother. It seems that Agustina's madness sprouts from a denial of violence and obvious truths-a denial that is shown here to similarly corrupt Colombian society. It has all the tension of a great detective story, and Wimmer's translation captures every tormented bit of Aguilar's desperation. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In Restrepo's latest (after her prize-winning Leopard in the Sun and The Angel of Galilea), Aguilar, a former literature professor who now sells dog food, returns from a weekend trip to find that his beautiful wife, Agustina, has lost her mind. Agustina is mentally ill, but some unknown momentous event has triggered this latest and most serious lapse into delirium. Four narrators-Aguilar; Agustina; Midas, Agustina's former lover and a money launderer with ties to the drug trade; and Nicolas, Agustina's grandfather-relate stories that seem to have little connection but that gradually come together to reveal more of the mystery surrounding Agustina's mental break and the family's secrets and lies. The story, which takes place in B?gota, Colombia, in the 1980s, is tinged with hints of the charged political atmosphere of the time and explores issues surrounding class and money, including Aguilar's rejection of both. Restrepo was awarded two prizes in Italy for this novel and recently received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Sarah Conrad Weisman, Corning Community Coll., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Aguilar
Male
Married
Former literature professor; delivers dog food to pay the bills; trying to find the cause of his wife's descent into madness; passionately in love with his wife; determined to rescue Agustina from insanity.
Delivery man

Agustina
Female
Married
Aguilar's wife; had a privileged but troubled past; tried to win her abusive and dominant father's affection; slowly losing her sanity.

Midas
Male
Agustina's former lover; money launderer.
Drug trafficker

Nicholas Portulinus
Male
German
Augustina's grandfather.



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