The Dream of the Celt
|Author:||Mario Vargas Llosa|
As "The Dream of the Celt" opens, it is the summer of 1916 and Roger Casement awaits the hangman in London's Pentonville Prison. Dublin lies in ruins after the disastrous Easter Rising led by his comrades of the Irish Volunteers. He has been caught after landing from a German submarine. For the past year he has attempted to raise an Irish brigade from prisoners of war to fight alongside the Germans against the British Empire that awarded him a knighthood only a few years before. And now his petition for clemency is threatened by the leaking of his private diary and his secret life as a gay man...Vargas-Llosa, with his incomparable gift for powerful historical narrative, takes the reader on a journey back through a remarkable life dedicated to the exposure of barbaric treatment of indigenous peoples by European predators in the Congo and Amazonia. Casement was feted as one of the greatest humanitarians of the age. Now he is about to die ignominiously as a traitor.
In an epic and moving novel spanning three continents, one of the world's greatest writers re-imagines the life of Roger Casement, the most controversial hero of Irish nationalism.
Mario Vargas Llosa's semi-fictionalised account of Casement's life portrays a heroic, if ultimately tragic champion of oppressed peoples ... Absorbing. Sunday Telegraph A novel by the Nobel prizewinner Mario Vargas Llosa might seem ripe for cult status, when it's subject is the life of Roger Casement. The Times A good and plausible account of Casement's humanity, which is the business of the novelist, and his tortured sexuality and religious sensibility, ditto ... This is a moving account, a sympathetic and magnanimous telling of the story. Evening Standard Extraordinary historical novel ... Ingenious ... Vargas Llosa's literary realism seems so natural, with no lyrical outbursts, no pointless cleverness. His research is meticulous, whether through travel or through libraries. But it is always embodied in polt and character ... This stimulating biographical novel, written with fiction's best freedoms. Independent
Mario Vargas Llosa has established an international reputation as one of the Latin America's most important authors. He was born in Peru in 1936 and educated at university in Lima, where he studied Humanities and Law. Always politically outspoken, from 1976 to 1979 Vargas Llosa served as President of PEN adn in 1983 presided over the commission which investigated the deaths of eight journalists killed during the Belaunde Government's campaign against the Maoist guerrilla movement. Having once declined the Prime Ministership of Peru in 1984, he was a candidate in the 1990 Presidential elections. In 2010 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.