A vivid and inspiring adventure story from the father of magical realism
Dissatisfied with his empty, Sisyphus-like existence in New York City, where he has abandoned his creative dreams for a job in corporate advertising, an aspiring composer wants nothing more than to tear his life up from the root. He soon finds his escape hatch: a university-sponsored mission to South America to look for indigenous musical instruments in one of the few areas of the world safely untouched by the industrial world. Retracing the steps of time, he voyages with his lover into a land that feels outside of history, searching not just for music but ultimately for himself, and turning away from modernity towards the very heart of what makes us human.
The Lost Steps
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4 January 2024
Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980) was one of the major Latin American writers of the twentieth century, as well as a classically trained pianist and musicologist. His best-known novels are The Lost Steps, Explosion in a Cathedral, and The Kingdom of This World. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, and raised in Havana, Cuba, Carpentier lived for many years in France and Venezuela before returning to Cuba after the 1959 revolution. A few years later he returned to France, where he lived until his death.