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The Long Night of White Chickens [Paperback]

Francisco Goldman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Paperback £7.86  
Paperback, 23 Mar 1998 --  

Book Description

23 Mar 1998
Francisco Goldman won accolades and international recognition with his extraordinary first novel, The Long Night of White Chickens, the winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. A best-selling paper-back for the Atlantic Monthly Press, it is now available for the first time in a Grove Press trade paperback edition.

The Long Night of White Chickens is a novel truly born of two worlds, staging with brilliant wit and immense humanity the intimate lives of Latin America and the United States. It is the story of Roger Graetz, raised in a Boston suburb by an aristocratic Guatemalan mother, and his relationship with Flor de Mayo, the beautiful young Guatemalan orphan sent by his grandmother to live with his family as a maid. When, years later in the 1980s, Flor is murdered in Guatemala while running an orphanage, Roger returns to uncover the truth of her death. There he is reunited with Luis Moya, a childhood friend, and together they venture on a quest to chronicle Flor's life story that will prove to have unexpected, and unforgettable, repercussions.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing (23 Mar 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802135471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802135476
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"It is a wonderful book . . . this remembrance of the Massachusetts life and Guatemalan death of Flor de Mayo Puac, sometime maid and confidante and older-sister to Roger Graetz . . . . Complex as history, funny as love, painful as death. The mystery of Goldman's Guatemala is the mystery of anyone's family, anyone's friendships and obsessions."--"The Washington Post Book World
"It takes one's breath away. . . . Goldman pulls together the threads of the story brilliantly, moving back and forth in time like a nimble Mayan weaver creating an elaborate huipil."--"Los Angeles Times Book Review"
"Francisco Goldman, in this fine first novel, delivers a complete world, sensual, tender and painful in its friendships, and expansive in its memory. . . . With a wealth of startling detail, he gives us a world that feels as if it could almost be touched."--"San Francisco Chronicle"
"Francisco Goldman's beautiful first novel is at once a story about a boy growing up in two cultures, a love story, and a mystery about an unsolved murder. It is meditation, investigation and chronicle written in lyrical, evocative English . . . . Flor is a compelling and enigmatic personality.""--Boston Globe"
""The Long Night of White Chickens" is one of the most extraordinary first works to be published in decades. Not since Nabokov's infamous "Lolita" or Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon" has an author displayed such mastery of contemporary literary method."--"The San Francisco Review of Books"
"A tale that sensitively depicts the very best of human dignity and love. . . . Brilliantly crafted. . .with great skill and poetic beauty. . . .[Chickens] has the ability to captivate the reader with its powerful descriptive voice."--"The Christian Science Monitor
"This book is a jewel. . . . It is an insistent story, filled with characters who keep whispering to us long after we've put the book down. . . . A book about the many faces of truth, full of love and hum --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

FRANCISCO GOLDMAN is the author of three novels: "The Long Night of White Chickens," which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award; "The Ordinary Seaman," a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and The Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and "The Divine Husband." Goldman is also the author of the non-fiction book, "The Art of Political Murder: Who killed the Bishop?," which was named a Best Book of the Year by "The Chicago Tribune," "The Washington Post," "The San Francisco Chronicle," and "The Economist." Goldman has been a contributing editor for Harper's magazine, and his fiction, journalism and essays have appeared in publications such as "The New Yorker," "The New York Review of Books," "Esquire" and "The New York Times Magazine." He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation grant and the T. R. Fyvel Freedom of Expression Book Award, and was a fellow at the American Academy of Berlin and the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. He currently directs the Premio Aura Estrada/Aura Estrada Prize ( Goldman divides his time between Brooklyn and Mexico City. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When I was five years old, and still in the quarantine for the case of tuberculosis I'd picked up in Guatemala the year before, Abuelita, that is my mother's mother, sent us an orphan girl to be our maid, and this was Flor de Mayo Puac. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
It was four years ago that I first read Goldman's first novel, and I still recommend it, still search for new books he has written. Long Night beautifully captures the magical essence of Guatemala -- the raw beauty, the mystery, the danger -- while gripping the reader with the desperation of the protagonist's quest and his gradual enlightenment..
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Guatemala of the Mind 12 Aug 1997
By A Customer
While the Long Night of White Chickens is nominally a story of a shattered Guatemala in the aftermath of American covert action, it actually depicts a Guatemala of the mind. In this world, every texture, flavour, scent and sound is richly flavoured by the obsessive, unrequited passion of the narrator.

The story's narrator lives in a world of his own where every dimension of life is occupied by the woman. Not even war and the tectonic movement of history can snap him out of the trance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 31 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book came quickly - before expected - and was in excellent condition. Have read it before so I knew it would be a good read
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect 27 Nov 2009
I received the book a week later than the final delivery date. This does not refrain me to give a high rate to this item because the book arrived in perfect conditions and I felt always protected by the claim system established by Amazon. Had not been for the delay I would have rated the item with five stars.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Gripping and intelligent story set among vivid scenes of Guatemalan poverty and corruption all around. I have bought this book for lots of friends.
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