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I recommend Là où les tigres sont chez eux (“Where Tigers Feel at Home”) by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès, published last Fall by Zulma. An adventure epic that takes the reader from 17th-century Europe to today’s Brazilian favelas, Les tigres won several literary awards in France, including the prestigious Prix Medicis. A critic in Le Figaro Litteraire compared it to “Umberto Eco revisited by Indiana Jones in Malcolm Lowry, with a zest of African Queen and Lévi-Strauss in Nambikwara”! Here’s a synopsis: Eléazard von Wogau is an obscure author and foreign correspondent living in Alcântara, a ghost city of the wild northern regions of Brazil. He is also an expert on German encyclopedist Athanase Kircher, a sort of Leonardo da Vinci of the Baroque age. One day, a fascinating biography of Kircher, seemingly written by German Jesuit Casper Schott, falls into his hands. Eléazard’s journey into that biography intertwines with the intriguing destinies of the book’s other characters: Elaine, his ex-wife, on a jungle expedition in a search of precious fossils; Moéma, his cocaine-addict daughter who is studying the origins of primitive tribes; the diabolical governor of Maranao; Loredana, a seductive Italian journalist; and Nelson, a child from the favelas determined to avenge his father’s death.
Sophie Schiavo is an agent with the French Publishers Agency in New York.
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