Saturday, July 9, 2016

Spotlight: Paraíso by Gordon Chaplin


Paraíso has a story so compelling, so sinuously told and passing strange, you feel like you can’t take your eyes off the road for a second.  Wonder and dread pull you forward. 

You need to see what’s around the next curve.”

William Finnegan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author ofBarbarian Days: A Surfing Life


 A Novel

by Gordon Chaplin

On-Sale: July 5, 2016


PARAÍSO is a neo-noir tale reminiscent of David Lynch and the Coen brothers.





“Gordon Chaplin is a brave explorer of the human heart. With his wickedly observant new novel, he leads us through a specifically patrician and rugged USA from east coast to west and then south to Baja, where this strange and mysterious tale pulses with life. Paraíso probes the heart of what it is to be a sibling, what it is to know regret, how to take risks and how to forgive.”

—Joanna Hershon, author of The Outside of August and A Dual Inheritance


“Some will say of Paraíso, ‘I couldn’t put it down.’ But Gordon Chaplin’s novel is so good I had to put it down repeatedly—to think, to savor. It’s an intricate story, rich in surprises, with passages that are too well written to read just once. Entangling and then disentangling intrigues past and present, it accelerates to a dramatic conclusion on a misty mountainside, closing with scenes that—I promise you—no other writer has ever imagined.”

—Jonathan Penner, author of the story collection Private Parties and This Is My Voice


“A misunderstanding between brother and sister evolves through twenty years of separate adventures, from the fall of the Twin Towers to murderous surfing off the coast of Baja California, from a past of American secrets to a present of Mexican tumult and resolution in the heights—delivering you to its hard won Paradise. This is a ride you won’t want to miss.”

—Bruce Berger, author of Almost an Island


Peter and Wendy felt as close as twins, despite their age difference. As teens, they fled their wealthy Philadelphia home and headed for Mexico, only to be discovered sleeping in their station wagon on the banks of the Mississippi, in Huck Finn country. Now, many years later, estranged by a mysteriousbetrayal as profound as their family's dysfunction, the two live separate lives, Peter as an editor in New York, Wendy as an edgy sports photographer with a taste for risk. With a new book out and an invitation to Los Cabos, Wendy drives her beloved Mercedes inherited from their father to Baja California, finally completing the trip begun twenty years earlier.

But when the engine fails near a small town named Paraíso Wendy lingers, exploring its underside in an affair with a dangerous man and, all too suddenly, becomes witness to a vicious crime. Meanwhile, in New York, Peter can't help but think of Wendy. When he watches the Twin Towers fall on a beautiful September day from his apartment in lower Manhattan, he knows it's time to find Wendy and finally make peace with his long-lost sister before it’s too late.  


Part family saga, part literary noir, Paraíso is a genre-busting journey that begins with a mother’s dark and ugly secret to a place where love is possible.  It takes a careful reader to relish each subtle twist and turn in this exquisite novel.




Gordon Chaplin is the author of the novel Joyride and several works of nonfiction, including Dark Wind: A Survivor’s Tale of Love and Loss and Full Fathom Five: Ocean Warming and a Father’s Legacy. A former journalist for Newsweek, the Baltimore Sun, and the Washington Post, he has worked on sea conservation with the group Niparaja and since 2003 has been a research associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Gordon's latest, Paraiso, a genre-bending novel about love, sibling relationships, and the dark side of paradise, is out this July from Arcade Publishing.  He lives with his wife and daughter in New York City and Hebron, New York.


To learn more, visit

Like Gordon on Facebook: /GordonChaplinAuthor

Follow Gordon on Twitter: @gordon_chaplin

No comments:

Post a Comment