Format Hardcover
Publication Date 06/01/12
ISBN 9781605983288
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.3 in / 352

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Beyond the Ties of Blood

A Novel

Florencia Mallon

In the tradition of Isabel Allende, the debut novel from Chilean-American Florencia Mellon—a family saga that explores the lives touched by the tragedies of Chile’s vibrant history.

In the political aftermath of the 1973 Chilean coup, Eugenia Aldunate is imprisoned and tortured. Her lover, Manuel, is savagely killed, one of the countless “disappeared” that would haunt Chile’s collective memory for decades. While still in the torture camp, Eugenia discovers she is pregnant and is exiled to Mexico and then to the United States to raise her daughter alone, forbidden to return. She builds a quiet life for herself as a journalist and professor, but the scars on her arms do not allow her to bury her past. Each night she aches for her homeland while fighting to suppress the horrific nightmares that still plague her. Nearly twenty years after her exile, Eugenia is called back to Chile to testify in Manuel’s case and help seek justice for the others who disappeared. A rare living witness to these “camps,” Eugenia must come to grips with the legacy of violence and traumas left by Pinochet’s dictatorship and find truth and solace in the stories of those she left behind. In the tradition of Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss and Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of Butterflies, Beyond the Ties of Blood is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit and the transcendence of family.

Florencia Mallon was raised in Santiago, Chile and the U.S. and educated at Harvard and Yale. She is the head of the History department at the University of Wisconsin and has written three non-fiction books about Latin American history. Florencia has been awarded a Guggenheim and a Fulbright fellowship and resides in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“Challenges the reader to reconsider their perceptions of history. Bold, fascinating, and highly original.” Arturo Arias, former president of the Latin American Studies Association
“Florencia Mallon combines a historian’s sensitivity and an ethnographer’s attention to culture to capture life in the midst of rapid social transformation.” Greg Grandin, author of The Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War
“"Engrossing and complex.  Florencia Mallon immerses readers in a vivid world in which family, political turmoil, and romance intersect.  A powerful story told with wisdom and compassion."” Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep and American Wife