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The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch : A Novel
"Anne Enright delivers an astonishing, rich tour de force inspired by the life of a truly extraordinary woman: Eliza Lynch, the nineteenth-century Irishwoman who became Paraguay's Eva Peron." Beautiful, sophisticated, and adventurous, Eliza Lynch met Francisco Solano Lopez in Paris, when she was nineteen and he was in Europe to recruit engineers for the first railroad in South America. She left for Paraguay several months later at Lopez's side, pregnant with his son. Reviled by Asuncion society and her lover's family, Eliza built herself a fine house, constructed a national theater for Paraguay, and had her son baptized although he was a bastard. In less than a decade, Lopez became dictator of the nation and plunged Paraguay into a conflict that would kill over half its population. By then Eliza was notorious - as both the angel of the battlefield, inspiring the troops, and the demon driving Lopez's ambition. At one time the richest woman in the world, she played the piano as Lopez executed traitors and despite widespread starvation held sumptuous banquets in her tent at the front.
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December 01, 2007
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