LOST EMPRESS

Lost Empress_HB.jpg

Sergio De La Pava

Hardback - Royal - 640pp - 30/08/2018 - £20.00 - 978 0 85705 805 8

 

It would take something huge to put Paterson, New Jersey on the map.

But Nina Gill is determined to do just that. She is the daughter  of the ageing owner of the Dallas Cowboys and the well-kept secret to their success. Shocked when her brother inherits the team, leaving her with the Paterson Pork, New Jersey's only Indoor Football League franchise, she vows to take on the N.F.L. and make her new team the pigskin kings of America.

Meanwhile, Nuno DeAngeles - a brilliant criminal mastermind - contrives to be thrown into Rikers Island prison to commit one of the most audacious crimes of all time. Now he's on the inside, he has two good reasons to get out. But how does a person of culture go about breaking out of the penal system when the whole of the land of the free is addicted to keeping him in it?

Without knowing it, or ever having met, Nina and Nuno have already had a profound effect on each other's lives. As his bid for freedom and her bid for sporting immortality reach crisis point, their stories converge in the countdown to an epic conclusion.

Thrilling, touching, insightful and shockingly hilarious, De La Pava's extraordinary novel gets under the skin and into the minds of a vast cast of characters from the fringes of society - immigrants, exiles and outsiders.

 

De La Pava is a maximalist worldbuilder, and the incredible multiverse he constructs in this book establishes him as one of the most fearsomely talented American novelists working today
— Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
If Thomas Pynchon and Elmore Leonard had conspired to write North Dallas Forty, this might be the result: a madcap, football-obsessed tale of crossed destinies and criminal plots gone awry . . . A whirling vortex of a novel, confusing, misdirecting, and surprising-and a lot of fun
— Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
A hilarious, smart, and madcap novel that occupies the porous border between comedy and drama, science and philosophy, story and dream, grim reality and pure imagination. A singular achievement. I’ve never read anything like it
— Nathan Hill, author of The Nix
Lost Empress is a vast galaxy of a book, a searing, frequently hilarious indictment of the absurdity of modern American life told through the lens of this country’s two most violent pastimes-professional football and criminal justice. To spend time inside the unfiltered mind of a writer like Sergio de la Pava is a rare, dizzying treat
— Omar El Akkad, author of American War
In Lost Empress, de la Pava’s words drip from the pages like melting clocks, simultaneously expressing the best and worst of humanity’s eternal struggle against an uncaring universe. From physics to football, Dali to Descartes, this book is a heady look at life, Art, and the power and love of language
— Chris Kluwe, author of Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies and former Minnesota Viking
Elise Williams