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The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch by Anne Enright
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The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch (2002)

by Anne Enright

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'A woman...is all reputation because she may not act'

Unrecognisable from Ms Enright's other works, this is written very much in the dreamlike style of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
The chronology is fluid: the account of Irishwoman Eliza Lynch's journey into Paraguay, in the company of her lover, Francisco Solano Lopez - son and heir to the dictator - is interspersed with other chapters from later in her career, most notably the War of the Triple Alliance, with its massive casualties.
Although parts of the narrative are in Eliza's own words, she remained quite an enigma. Was she worthy of the scorn poured upon her by the Paraguayan ladies as an 'Irish whore'? Was she as responsible as her fearsome husband (who was prone to killing his own men) for the bloodshed? Or a brave and noble woman?
A much clearer character was Doctor Stewart, physician to the family and sometime narrator.
Ms Enright notes that this is all fiction: 'this Is Not True', and I see another reviewer more knowledgable about Eliza Lynch finds fault with the novel for the spin she has put on Lynch. I would say that as someone with absolutely no prior knowledge of Paraguayan history, this work has massively stirred my interest in the subject, and I plan to read a biography of this lady sometime. ( )
  starbox | Mar 23, 2014 |
very evocative, Enright kind of taps into that dreamscape that is one of the trademarks of South American writing (see Allende). Her narrative flow can be almost too discursive at times, though -- I found myself almost unsure of what kind of traumatic events had occurred, and the disordered chronology didn't help, either.

Still. Excellent. ( )
  50MinuteMermaid | Nov 14, 2013 |
Showing 2 of 2
Slighted pride is the motive Eliza's recent biographers produce for her behavior. It seems inadequate. Enright produces a more nuanced cause -- deprivation -- that she buries in such a wealth of virtuoso imagery that it is not immediately apparent.
 
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Francisco Solano lopez put his penis inside Eliza Lynch on a lovely spring day in Paris in 1854.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099436949, Paperback)

Beautiful Irishwoman Eliza Lynch became briefly, in the 1860s, the richest woman in the world. The book opens in Paris with Eliza in bed with Francisco Solano Lopez - heir to the untold wealth of Paraguay. The fruit of their congress will be extraordinary, and will send her across the Atlantic on the regal voyage to claim her glorious future in Ascuncion. With the lavish imaginative richness of Marquez and the crazed panoramic sweep of Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch is a bold and brilliantly achieved novel about sex, beauty and corruption at the end of the old world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:07 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A fictionalized account of Eliza Lynch, who ruled alongside her husband, the dictator Francisco Solano L?pez, in Paraguay during times of great upheaval in that country.

» see all 3 descriptions

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