The Delicate Beast

Available Feb 04, 2025

432 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $18.99
ISBN: 9781954276369


ISBN: 9781954276376

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“From the novel’s lush opening, set in the ‘Tropical Republic,’ to countries and cities well beyond its frontiers, Roger Celestin’s voice echoes not only in a world of pain and violence, but also in the beauty and miraculous weapon of literature.”

Maryse Condé, author of Waiting for the Waters to Rise and The Gospel According to the New World

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“In a headlong flight from history’s black-winged angels, The Delicate Beast spirals across the globe and the twentieth century in densely sensual prose that merges the Caribbean surreal of Alejo Carpentier with the looping, philosophical conundrums of Javier Marías.”

Esther Allen, translator of Javier Marías’s Dark Back of Time and Antonio di Benedetto’s Zama

“Brilliantly written, The Delicate Beast is a sweeping novel of a young man’s search for identity that follows him from a boyhood touched by the splendors and dangers of the ‘Tropical Republic’ into a new and startling international life. It is a powerful tale.”

Peter Constantine, author of The Purchased Bride

“Henry James once said that it takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature. The Delicate Beast is a fine example of history writ fierce and smart and large. This novel combines superb writing and psychological depth with grace and a knowing eye. Celestin’s protagonist struggles against the ‘determination of birth, blood, place, and time,’ until the ending suggests yet another possible beginning.”

Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin and Apeirogon

In the 1950s Tropical Republic, a boy lives amid opulence and privilege, spending days at the beach or in the cool hills above the sweltering capital, enjoying leisurely Sunday lunches around the family compound’s swimming pool. That is, until the reign of The Mortician begins, unleashing unimaginable horrors that bring his childhood idyll to an end. Narrowly escaping the violent fate visited on so many of his fellow citizens, he and his brother follow their parents into exile in the United States where they must start a new life. But as he grows, he never feels at home, and leaves his family to travel across Europe and outrun the ghosts of the past.

A searing novel of a life lived in the shadow of history, The Delicate Beast portrays the persistent, pernicious legacy of political violence.

Excerpt from The Delicate Beast

Available Feb 04, 2025