Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

A Secret for Julia: A Novel Patricia Sagastizabal Author

A haunting, prize-winning Latin American novel about a guilt-wracked mother and her inquisitive daughter, both coming to terms with an unspeakable past. With the harrowing power of Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden comes a remarkable work of fiction. Winner of the prestigious Premio La Nacion Prize for Fiction in 2000, A Secret for Julia brilliantly depicts the lasting psychological attacks of Argentina's reign of repression and terror on a new, seemingly innocents the lasting psychological attacks of Argentina's reign of repression and terror on a new, seemingly innocent generation. Set mainly in 1990s London, interlaced with vivid flashbacks to Buenos Aires, Patricia Sagastizabal's novel tells the emotionally wrenching story of Mercedes Beecher, an Argentinian writer living in self-imposed exile in London with her teenaged daughter, Julia. When a mysterious figures appears from her past, Mercedes must endure a new round of psychological terror and reveal herself to her inquisitive but embittered, daughter in a way that she never believed possible. A dramatic story of retribution and conscience, A Secret for Julia touches on many compelling themes: the politics of institutionalized and sanctioned cruelty; the wistfulness of a life lived in exile; the bonds of family, justice, and redemption. Much of A Secret for Julia reads like a personal diary, yet Sagastizabal propels it forward with elements of astonishing intrigue, drama, and terror. The savage murders and tortures that came to decimate an entire generation of Argentinian students and activists in the 1970s may remain—even twenty-five years later—so vivid and searing that they can be expressed only through the palette of fiction. In this way, Sagastizabal's novel represents the voice of the fallout from Argentina's so-called dirty war, the voice of the next generation—Julia's generation. A Secret for Julia is a testament to the changing of the guard—an unforgettable, astounding novel for one simple reason: the reader is left with the lingering notion that it might be frighteningly close to the truth. read more