**NYTIMES.COM, “GLOBETROTTING” SELECTION**
**SHORTLISTED FOR THE PRIX GONCOURT & PRIX FEMINA**
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PRAISE FOR HERITAGE:
translated from the French by Emily Boyce…Bonnefoy’s writing is tactile
and exact…In its sensuality and evocation of a past and future infused
present, the prose recalls that of Garcia Marquez’s…Reminiscent of
Garcia Marquez, too, is the way in which the surreal is fused with the
ordinary. A family of solitary individuals, the Lonsoniers wander
through life as if through a dream, pursuing their interests
single-mindedly: birds, planes, grapes, lovers, revolution…Bonnefoy’s
prose successfully bears unblinking witness to the sheer madness of
“Heritage is a lyrical fever dream of a novel. By turns tender and ferocious, meditative and searing, it traces a graceful, looping line across history and generations, in the process laying bare the shared dreams, joys, and traumas that connect us as human beings. I loved it.”
—Jennifer Cody Epstein, USA Today bestselling author of Wunderland
“Rich, evocative, charming, and quite simply stunning. In these poetically written pages following a single family, Miguel Bonnefoy’s Heritage manages to speak volumes about history, courage, and home.”
—Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of
The Last Train to London
“Miguel Bonnefoy’s Heritage shimmers off the page. The reader is seduced by three generations of the remarkable Lonsonier family, whose tales of anguish and love are echoed in the enchanting aviary they create in their garden in the Andes. The luminous characters endure passion and heartbreak through two world wars and beyond, with a plot that moves back and forth across continents. Translated exquisitely into English with beauty and precision, Bonnefoy’s bold and magical book is a triumph.”—Patty Dann, author of Mermaids and The Wright Sister
“…[a] fascinating Chilean fresco, full of dreams and colors, telling the story of a family shaken by the First World War and the Pinochet dictatorship.”—VOGUE (France)
Landing in Santiago, Chile, and possessing a single grape vine and little else, the Lonsonier patriarch makes a new life for himself that will have a rippling effect on generations to come. His son, Lazare, fights for the French in World War I, but is forced to betray an old friend in the heat of the trenches.
Returning home wounded in body and soul, he is revived by his love for a fellow Franco-Chilean, the enchanting Thérèse, who has a special affinity with birds.
They marry and construct an ornate aviary that later inspires their daughter, Margot, to become a pilot at a time when only the most daring women took to the skies.
Margot in turn raises her son, Ilario Da, at the Lonsonier manse, where she watches him grow into a bold revolutionary.
Intersecting these characters’ lives are chance encounters with figures including a kindly but mysterious Mapuche healer; the ghost of a soldier; the descendants of a Ukrainian rabbinic dynasty; and a beloved trumpet player.
At once epic and intimate, HERITAGE spans the course of nearly a hundred years, brilliantly weaving major historical events, from the World Wars to the dictatorship of Chilean general Augusto Pinochet, with traces of the supernatural.
Through writing that shimmers with poetic language and a vivid sense of place, Bonnefoy has crafted an exquisite tale of longing—for a lost homeland, for solace in precarious times, for moral certitude—and belonging that resonates in our own uncertain epoch.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
About the author: Miguel Bonnefoy was born in France in 1986 to a Venezuelan mother and a Chilean father.
His two previous novels, Octavio’s Journey and Black Sugar, have sold more than thirty thousand copies each in France and have been translated into several languages.
In 2013 Bonnefoy was awarded the Prix du Jeune Écrivain. Heritage has received widespread critical acclaim in France, including being short-listed for the Prix Femina, Grand Prix de l’Académie française, and the Goncourt Prize.
About the translator: Emily Boyce is an editor and translator based in London. Her translations include works by Antoine Laurain, Pascal Garnier, and Laurent Gaudé, and two previous novels by Miguel Bonnefoy.
She was short-listed for the 2016 French-American Foundation Translation Prize for her translation of Éric Faye’s Nagasaki.
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