"Refreshing, comic, and sublime...The conquest in this novel, a game played by one writer and his readers, captivates, drawing us in through the seductive power of a monumental young author." --Laura Esquivel, bestselling author of Like Water for Chocolate and Malinche
"Intoxicating...I'll be thinking of these characters, what they longed to create and what they managed to despoil, for a long time." --Helen Oyeyemi
A retelling of a fantastical true story: two young men seduce Nobel laureate Juan Ramon Jimenez with the words of an imaginary woman and inspire one of his greatest love poems.
Jose Galvez and Carlos Rodriguez are poets. Or, at least, they'd like to be. Sons of Lima's elite in the early twentieth century, they scribble bad verses and read the greats: Rilke, Rimbaud, and, above all others, Juan Ramon Jimenez, the Spanish Maestro. Desperate for Jimenez's latest work, unavailable in Lima, they decide to ask him for a copy. They're sure Jimenez won't send two dilettantes his book, but he might favor a beautiful woman. They write to him as the lovely, imaginary Georgina Hubner. Jimenez responds with a letter and a book. Elated, Jose and Carlos write back. Their correspondence continues, as the Maestro falls in love with Georgina, and the boys abandon poetry for the pages of Jimenez's life.