Advanced Search

Natural History: A Novel

by Carlos Fonseca

Paperback $34.99

$34.99

Natural History: A Novel

by Carlos Fonseca

Paperback $34.99

$34.99

$34.99

From Carlos Fonseca comes a dazzling, kaleidoscopic epic of art, politics, and hidden realities

Just before the dawn of the new millennium, a curator at a New Jersey museum of natural history receives an unusual invitation from a celebrated fashion designer. She shares the curator’s fascination with the secrets of the animal kingdom—with camouflage and subterfuge—and she proposes that they collaborate on an exhibition, the nature of which remains largely obscure, even as they enter into a strange relationship marked by evasion and elision.

Seven years later, after the designer’s death, the curator recovers the archive of their never-completed project. During a long night of insomnia, he finds within the archive a series of clues about the true history of the designer’s family, a mind-bending puzzle that winds from Haifa, Israel, to bohemian 1970s New York to the Latin American jungles. As he follows this trail, the curator discovers a cast of characters whose own fixations interrogate the unstable frontiers between art, science, politics, and religion. An aging photographer, living nearly alone in an abandoned mining town where subterranean fires rage without end, creates miniature replicas of ruined cities. A former model turned conceptual artist becomes the star defendant in a trial over the very soul and purpose of art. A young indigenous boy receives a vision of the end of the world. Reality is a curtain, the curator realizes, and to draw it back is to reveal the theater of the obsessed.

Natural History is a portrait of a world trapped between faith and irony, tragedy and farce. An urgent and impressively ambitious novel in the tradition of Italo Calvino and Ricardo Piglia, it confirms Carlos Fonseca as one of the most daring writers of his generation.

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781250798541
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pub Date: 09/11/2021
  • Category: Fiction & related items / Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
  • Imprint: Picador US
  • Pages: 320
  • Price: $34.99

From Carlos Fonseca comes a dazzling, kaleidoscopic epic of art, politics, and hidden realities

Just before the dawn of the new millennium, a curator at a New Jersey museum of natural history receives an unusual invitation from a celebrated fashion designer. She shares the curator’s fascination with the secrets of the animal kingdom—with camouflage and subterfuge—and she proposes that they collaborate on an exhibition, the nature of which remains largely obscure, even as they enter into a strange relationship marked by evasion and elision.

Seven years later, after the designer’s death, the curator recovers the archive of their never-completed project. During a long night of insomnia, he finds within the archive a series of clues about the true history of the designer’s family, a mind-bending puzzle that winds from Haifa, Israel, to bohemian 1970s New York to the Latin American jungles. As he follows this trail, the curator discovers a cast of characters whose own fixations interrogate the unstable frontiers between art, science, politics, and religion. An aging photographer, living nearly alone in an abandoned mining town where subterranean fires rage without end, creates miniature replicas of ruined cities. A former model turned conceptual artist becomes the star defendant in a trial over the very soul and purpose of art. A young indigenous boy receives a vision of the end of the world. Reality is a curtain, the curator realizes, and to draw it back is to reveal the theater of the obsessed.

Natural History is a portrait of a world trapped between faith and irony, tragedy and farce. An urgent and impressively ambitious novel in the tradition of Italo Calvino and Ricardo Piglia, it confirms Carlos Fonseca as one of the most daring writers of his generation.

Author Information

Carlos Fonseca was born in San José, Costa Rica, and spent half of his childhood and adolescence in Puerto Rico. In 2016, he was named one of the twenty best Latin American writers born in the 1980s at the Guadalajara Book Fair, and in 2017 he was included in the Bogotá39 list of the best Latin American writers under forty. In 2018, he won the National Prize for Literature in Costa Rica, for his book of essays La Lucidez del Miope. He teaches at Trinity College, Cambridge, and lives in London.

Megan McDowell is a Spanish-language literary translator from Kentucky. Her work includes books by Alejandro Zambra, Samanta Schweblin, Mariana Enriquez, Gonzalo Torné, Lina Meruane, and Diego Zuñiga.

BUY THE BOOK

  • Booktopia
  • Dymocks
  • Readings
  • QBD Books
  • The Nile
  • Find a bookshop
  • Amazon
  • Big W
  • Harry Hartog

OTHER BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR

SEE ALL WORKS BY THE AUTHOR >