Assault on Paradise vividly depicts the Conquistadores and the Church invading Central America, impoverishing one world to enrich another. In a fast-paced, bawdy, swashbuckling adventure in Central America of the early 1700s, Costa Rican novelist Tatiana Lobo lays bare the dark legacy of the Conquistadores and the Church. Through the central picaresque story of Pedro Albaran, Lobo dramatizes the intrigues of politicians and the Inquisition and the bloody battles between the native people and the invaders, while simultaneously presenting a reverent poetic recreation of indigenous cosmogony and mystical values which the natives seek to use to drive out the invaders.
Pa-brú Presbere dreams of Surá, Lord of the Nether World
Of Petro Albarán's first days in a part of the West Indies where the inhabitants impress him as being gossipmongers, backbiters, and troublemakers
Of the passion that possesses the scribe, and of the strange life led by the people of Cartago
Threats loom over Pedro de Albarán and the Inquisition enforces its justice
Pedro sets out on the dangerous route of the missionaries and lets fate steer his course
Of how Agueda Pérez de Muro helped Pedro reconstruct a part of his life intangible as a dream
Pa-brú Presbere is entrusted with a mission by the Kapá
Agueda listens closely to Pedro's story and the description of his meeting with Juan de las Alas
Presbere makes ready
Agueda nods and Pedro relates how Gerónima's departure took him unawares
Pa-brú Presbere attacks
The night of confidences ends and Pedro has a fit of jealousy because of Bárbara Lorenzana
Presbere talks with the Kapá for the last time
Pedro takes a crab for God and finally learns why La Chamberga was looking for him
The new secretary of the Governor's Office entangles himself in his own contradictions as war preparations build
Where is Presbere?
While the war rages Pedro storms Captain Casasola's wardrobe
The war ends and Pedro is left entirely in the dark
The dog days make Cartago unbearable. Hundreds of macaws roost in the bell tower of the church and Juan de las Alas glows with an inner light
The King says thank you
Tatiana Lobo was born in Puerto Montt, Chile and studied theatre and painting at the University of Chile. Her published works have crossed over several genres, including novels, plays, short stories and articles. She now lives in Costa Rica.
Asa Zatz was born in Mexico and has translated almost 100 Spanish-language books, including the works of Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, and Mario Vargas Llosa. He lives in New York City.
"....Assault on Paradise can be considered a critique of colonialism and its cruelties, it is not only that. For in her portrayal of its feckless hero, Lobo moves her novel well beyond polemic and into the realm of art."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Lobo...delineates Pedro's 'education' with scorching irony and brings her crowded story to a stunning, chilling conclusion."
"Discriminating readers, especially those familiar with the work of Eduardo Galeano, will welcome this new voice in Latin American literature."
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