“If Carpentier is ever to get a new reading in English, it should be now. . . . West’s translations . . . reintroduce English-language readers to this giant of Latin American fiction.” —Natasha Wimmer, The New York Review of Books

The best-known book by Cuba’s most important twentieth-century novelist, in its first new English translation in more than sixty years and featuring a new introduction by Leonardo Padura

A Penguin Classic


Dissatisfied with his empty, Sisyphus-like existence in New York City, where he has abandoned his creative dreams for a job in corporate advertising, a highly cultured aspiring composer wants nothing more than to tear his life up from the root. He soon finds his escape hatch: a university-sponsored mission to South America to look for indigenous musical instruments in one of the few areas of the world not yet touched by civilization. Retracing the steps of time, he voyages with his lover into a land that feels outside of history, searching not just for music but ultimately for himself, and turning away from modernity toward the very heart of what makes us human.

For more than seventy-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 2,000 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
© Fundación Alejo Carpentier
Alejo Carpentier (1904–1980) was one of the major Latin American writers of the twentieth century, as well as a classically trained pianist and musicologist. His best-known novels are The Lost Steps, Explosion in a Cathedral, and The Kingdom of This World. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, and raised in Havana, Cuba, Carpentier lived for many years in France and Venezuela before returning to Cuba after the 1959 revolution. A few years later he returned to France, where he lived until his death. View titles by Alejo Carpentier

About

“If Carpentier is ever to get a new reading in English, it should be now. . . . West’s translations . . . reintroduce English-language readers to this giant of Latin American fiction.” —Natasha Wimmer, The New York Review of Books

The best-known book by Cuba’s most important twentieth-century novelist, in its first new English translation in more than sixty years and featuring a new introduction by Leonardo Padura

A Penguin Classic


Dissatisfied with his empty, Sisyphus-like existence in New York City, where he has abandoned his creative dreams for a job in corporate advertising, a highly cultured aspiring composer wants nothing more than to tear his life up from the root. He soon finds his escape hatch: a university-sponsored mission to South America to look for indigenous musical instruments in one of the few areas of the world not yet touched by civilization. Retracing the steps of time, he voyages with his lover into a land that feels outside of history, searching not just for music but ultimately for himself, and turning away from modernity toward the very heart of what makes us human.

For more than seventy-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 2,000 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Author

© Fundación Alejo Carpentier
Alejo Carpentier (1904–1980) was one of the major Latin American writers of the twentieth century, as well as a classically trained pianist and musicologist. His best-known novels are The Lost Steps, Explosion in a Cathedral, and The Kingdom of This World. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, and raised in Havana, Cuba, Carpentier lived for many years in France and Venezuela before returning to Cuba after the 1959 revolution. A few years later he returned to France, where he lived until his death. View titles by Alejo Carpentier

The New York Times’s 100 Best Books of the 21st Century

The New York Times recently published their list “100 Best Books of the 21st Century.” We are pleased to announce that there are 49 titles published from Penguin Random House and its distribution clients included in this list. Browse our collection of Penguin Random House titles here. Browse the full list from The New York

Read more