The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
by Umberto Eco (Harcourt, June 2005)
translated by Geoffrey Brock
Galantière Award, American Translators Association
Starred reviews in Kirkus, Library Journal, and Booklist.
Named to The San Francisco Chronicle's “Best
Books of 2005” list.
“The translation by Geoffrey Brock is truly excellent.”
—Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books
“Brock's translation does a wonderful job of capturing
the book's simultaneously erudite and comic tone.” —Books
Read more excerpts from the reviews
Yambo, a sixtyish rare-book dealer who lives in Milan, has suffered a
loss of memory—he can remember the plot of every book he has ever
read, every line of poetry, but he no longer knows his own name, doesn't
recognize his wife or his daughters, and remembers nothing about his parents
or his childhood. In an effort to retrieve his past, he withdraws to the
family home somewhere in the hills between Milan and Turin. There, in
the sprawling attic, he searches through boxes of old newspapers, comics,
records, photo albums, and adolescent diaries. And so Yambo relives the
story of his generation: Mussolini, Catholic education and guilt, Josephine
Baker, Flash Gordon, Fred Astaire. His memories run wild, and the life
racing before his eyes takes the form of a graphic novel. Yambo struggles
through the frames to capture one simple, innocent image: that of his
first love. A fascinating, abundant new novel—wide-ranging, nostalgic,
funny, full of heart—from the incomparable Eco.
Read excerpts from the novel in the New
York Times and in The
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