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A Best Book of February 2020 at Salon, The Millions, LitHub and Vol 1. Brooklyn
“A stunner—equal parts epic and intimate, thrilling and elegiac.”—Laura Van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel
The mesmerizing story of a Latin American science fiction writer and the lives her lost manuscript unites decades later in post-Katrina New Orleans
In 1929 in New Orleans, a Dominican immigrant named Adana Moreau writes a science fiction novel. The novel earns rave reviews, and Adana begins a sequel. Then she falls gravely ill. Just before she dies, she destroys the only copy of the manuscript.
Decades later in Chicago, Saul Drower is cleaning out his dead grandfather’s home when he discovers a mysterious manuscript written by none other than Adana Moreau. With the help of his friend Javier, Saul tracks down an address for Adana’s son in New Orleans, but as Hurricane Katrina strikes they must head to the storm-ravaged city for answers.
What results is a brilliantly layered masterpiece—an ode to home, storytelling and the possibility of parallel worlds.
“The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is a profound novel about the persistence of stories and the singular power that books can conjure. Zapata is a luminous writer—a rule-breaker in the best way, and a storyteller who weaves between eras and genres with fluidity and grace. I loved every page of this bold debut.”—Matthew Sullivan, author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
"Zapata is a thrilling new talent. Alternating between the quest for a man in post-Katrina New Orleans for whom a mystery manuscript was left to be posthumously delivered, and the tale the manuscript itself tells, The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is an ambitious novel that probes for friendship, the possibility of parallel worlds, and the way the real and the unreal meet at every moment."—Ingrid Rojas Contreras, author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree
"This bold, inventive debut moves through the twentieth century like a cyclone. The Lost Book of Adana Moreau opens with American Marines in Santo Domingo, tears on through New Orleans and reaches a roaring end in the Atacama Desert of Chile. Michael Zapata writes as skillfully of rebellion as he does of joy and every page of The Lost Book of Adana Moreau comes alive."—Idra Novey, author of Ways to Disappear and Those Who Knew
"Spellbinding and sage, The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is a beautifully imagined saga. Adana Moreau's long lost novel unites a fascinating cast of characters with a hypnotic pull, weaving together their lives and transcending time. Michael Zapata steers us on a journey through history, friendship, family, the extraordinary, the ordinary, and even the stars. The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is a rich and philosophically poignant homage to the metaphysical magic of storytelling."—Kira Jane Buxton, author of Hollow Kingdom
"The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is a hypnotic, whirling meditation on displacement and exile. This is a novel that cherishes the bonds between people even when those bonds are seemingly severed by time and distance. Zapata is a brilliant new voice who controls impermanence, asymmetry, and possibility like a classical composer with perfect pitch."—Maurice Ruffin, author of We Cast a Shadow