LUCIA IN LA-LA-LAND de Tien-Yi Lee, un roman prometteur

Pour son agent américain il s’agit de l’un des meilleurs livres qu’elle n’ait jamais représenté. Pamela Dorman vient d’en acheter les droits nord-américains pour Penguin, et scouts et éditeurs étrangers s’y intéressent déjà :

A brilliant, heart-warming, language- and plot-driven examination of madness, identity, unexpected family ties, and the perpetual friction between love and duty

by Tien-Yi Lee
Penguin US, TBA

The novel, told through three different POV’s starts as we see the irrepressible Lucia Bok recently married to her older husband, Yonah, a tough, charismatic Israeli with a glass eye. Together, they live on the Lower East Side. They run an organic grocery store. They think they will live happily ever after but Lucia’s older sister Miranda is wary. When Lucia starts to act a little “off” and ends up in a mental hospital Lucia and Yonah think she just needs some rest. Miranda knows better. Lucia is in fact bipolar and has had an episode before. Lucia needs to be stabilized and put on the right meds, and her husband is enabling her by letting her just come home. But there is nothing Miranda can do. You can’t force a patient to stay in a hospital and even if they stay, you can’t force them to take medication. And so, Lucia returns home, but not for long. When her affliction ramps up again, Lucia decides she wants a baby and since Yonah does not, Lucia disappears.
Enter Manny, an undocumented Ecuadorian immigrant, who starts to date Lucia. Once she gets pregnant, he is swept into her whirlwind and is blindsided when her illness takes a psychotic turn after the birth of the child. Co-dependent Miranda, having moved far away to Switzerland in an attempt to live her own life, flies back to get Lucia straightened out—if only it were that easy. Attempting a fresh start, Lucia decides she, Manny, and the baby should move to rural Ecuador. But as they plow ahead there, Lucia’s actions spawn unintended consequences for those she loves, and she, like the others in her family, struggle to find balance between self-fulfillment and moral obligation. At its heart, Lucia In La-La Land is the story of a young woman’s quest to have a family, a life, and not be defined by her illness.

Tien-Yi Lees work has been published in TriQuarterly, The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, and American Short Fiction, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In 2012, she was awarded an Artist’s Fellowship by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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