The Land You Leave Behind
Original title: Dejarás la Tierra
Author: Renato Cisneros
Just a few years before Peru became an independent state, the priest Gregorio Cartagena, from the town of Huácar, begins a secret relationship with a distinguished lady named Nicolasa Cisneros. From this secret affair seven children are born, none of which will be recognized by Gregorio. Many decades later, one of those children, Luis Benjamín, gets romantically involved with a woman who is also the lover of the president of Peru. Three daughters are born of this clandestine relationship. During the Pacific War with Chile, Luis Benjamín marries another woman and has five more children. One of them, Fernán, becomes a journalist and a poet under the dictatorship that dominated Peru in the early twentieth century. He also juggled with two simultaneous sentimental affairs and from one of them – the illegal or ‘hidden’ one – the author’s father was born.
Shifting from the twenty-first century to the past, Renato Cisneros tells the story of the men in his father’s family tree, famous figures that he had admired since he was a child, without really knowing anything about their parallel lives and the similarities they have with his own life. By tracing his family tree, he unearths secrets, demolishes myths and identifies behavioral patterns that reconstruct the core truth about the Cisneros clan: a conservative family, with their roots closely tied to the birth of the republic of Peru, and whose most notable representatives exhausted their efforts to keep their private dramas away from public spotlight. It is precisely the details of these intimate dramas that Renato Cisneros masterfully reconstructs in his new novel.
SPANISH (World) | Planeta
ENGLISH (World) | Charco Press
GERMAN | Secession Verlag
PORTUGUESE (Brazil) | Planeta
PORTUGUESE (Portugal) | Planeta