'A 1st century Bonfire of the Vanities.' MiNDFOOD Book of the Month 'Dazzling ... This book will establish Tobar as an important writer.' Thomas Keneally on The Tattooed Soldier 'Tobar's exploration of I he wide chasm between, the city of Angel's wealthiest residents and the downtrodden immigrants who service them is authentic and descriptive... For real insight into the other L.A. - the one that exists far from Hollywood's glitzy carpets - you can't beat this impressive novel.' Madison 'A big, insightful novel.' New York Times, Notable Books of 2011 'The Pulitzer winning newspaper journalist knows his way around a hot topic. This page-turner examines the economic and racial divides that still exist in sunny Southern California - so there's a message in the thrilling tale.' SHOP til you drop The scope and cracking pace of Bonfire of the Vanities Bookseller Hector Tobar's THE BARBARIAN NURSERIES is that rare novel that redefines a city. It has the necessary vital sweep of culture and class that brings a city to life, but its power lies in Tobar's ability to persuasively change the perspective from which the Los Angeles of the present - and by extension, the United States - is seen. This book confirms the promise of Tobar's debut novel, The Tattooed Soldier. Stuart Dybek, author of I Sailed with Magellan and The Coast of Chicago ' ... what follows is as pacy and informative about the states of America as you would expect from a journalist who won a Pulitzer for coverage of the LA riots ... Tobar is in total control of his material ...' Independent THE BARBARIAN NURSERIES is a huge novel of this century, as sprawling and exciting as Los Angeles itself, one that tracks a Mexican immigrant maid not only as static decor in 'real' America's economic rise and fall. Like yard workers and cooks, construction laborers and seamstresses, Tobar's Araceli has flesh, brains, dreams, ambition, history, culture, voice: a rich, generous life. A story that was demanded, we can celebrate that it is now here. Dagoberto Gilb, author of Before The End, After The Beginning and The Flowers Hector Tobar's novel is astonishing, like a many-layered mural on a long wall in Los Angeles, a tapestry of people and neighborhoods and stories. A vivid testament to Southern California as the world. Araceli is so unexpected and unique; she's a character America needs to see, and this novel takes her on a journey America needs to understand. Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon This is Araceli's story, and The Barbarian Nurseries is a novel that is entirely dependent on our relationship with her. Mercifully, she makes the journey worth our while. Referred to as "Madame Weirdness" by her employers, she is as inscrutable in the workplace as she is fiery out of it. As hypnotic as she is observant and as sympathetic as she is frosty, she is a diamond of a character. Independent on Sunday Hector Tobar's THE BARBARIAN NURSERIES is a virtuosic and hard-hitting novel about social schism in Southern California. He combines a broad and bitter social vision with exuberant attention to details. Tobar exposes disturbing and enlightening ironies about the perpetuation of both privilege and social disadvantage. TLS This book is beautifully written ... it provides a fascinating portrait of mutual misunderstanding, of the life led by California's unprotected underclass, and of the American citizens who are wholly dependent on the illegal immigrants who service them. Literary Review The predicament of the recession-hit middle classes as they hastily rearrange their priorities has provided a rich seam for fiction writers in recent years, and Pulitzer-winning journalist Tobar's latest is a fine example of the genre. Daily Mail ... what follows is as pacy and informative about the states of America as you would expect from a journalist who won a Pulitzer for coverage of the LA riots ... Tobar is in total control of his material ... Independent
About the Author
Hector Tobar is the son of Guatemalan immigrants and a native of the city of Los Angeles. He is the former Buenos Aires and Mexico City Bureau Chief for the LA Times and shared a Pulitzer for the paper's coverage of the 1992 riots. He is currently an LA-based columnist for the paper. He is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Tattooed Soldier (Penguin, 2000) and an essay collection, Translation Nation (Riverhead, 2005).