The News from Paraguay

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The News from Paraguay is 2004 novel by Lily Tuck and was the National Book Award winner for fiction.[1] It is a historical novel set in 19th century Paraguay, and explores the life of an Irish courtesan, Eliza Lynch, as she courts the soon to be Paraguayan president Francisco Solano López.[2][3] The novel is a series of vignettes and correspondence from their courtship.[4][5]

Critical reception[edit]

The novel had mixed reception, despite its reception of the National Book Award. Historical Novel Society review Lisa Ann Verge described the novel as well researched, "the novel is bursting with detail – but the collection of facts leaves this reader craving the illumination that good fiction should supply."[2] Washington Post Reviewer Joanne Omang, did not think Tuck's sprawling scope fit well within a novel, writing "the sheer sprawl of Tuck's subject matter seems to have overwhelmed her; she has put it all into her story without focus, rather than pruning away the undergrowth to showcase the two lovers or to illumine the history they created."[6]

On the other hand, Kirkus Reviews called this scope a " skillfully distribute[d] dozens of narrative vignettes among these two impetuously matched lovers."[4] While the Kirkus Review called the novel "A splendid realization of its rich subject, and Tuck’s best so far."[4]


  1. ^ Wyatt, Edward (2004-11-18). "South America Epic Wins the National Book Award". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-03-28. 
  2. ^ a b "Review: The News from Paraguay by Lily Tuck". Retrieved 2016-03-28. 
  3. ^ Kracht, C., & Woodard, D., Five Years, Vol. 1 (Hannover: Wehrhahn Verlag, 2011), pp. 26, 29.
  4. ^ a b c "THE NEWS FROM PARAGUAY by Lily Tuck". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2016-03-28. 
  5. ^ "Hungry for blood, glory and women / Historical novel follows Paraguay's dictator and his longtime lover". SFGate. Retrieved 2016-03-28. 
  6. ^ Omang, Joanne (June 6, 2004). "The Main Chance". Washington Post Book World.