The Lost Steps

(Author) (Translator)
& 1 more
21,000+ Reviews has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
$18.00  $16.74
Penguin Group
Publish Date
5.04 X 7.64 X 0.71 inches | 0.45 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
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.
Adrian Nathan West (translator) has translated more than thirty books from Spanish, Catalan, and German, including Benjamin Labatut's When We Cease to Understand the World, a finalist for both the National Book Award for Translated Literature and the International Booker Prize. He is the author of The Aesthetics of Degradation and the novel My Father's Diet, and his essays and literary criticism have appeared in The New York Review of Books, London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Baffler. He lives in Philadelphia.
Leonardo Padura (introduction) is the most internationally successful contemporary Cuban novelist, as well as a journalist and critic. His novels featuring the detective Mario Conde have been translated into many languages and have won literary prizes around the world. Padura lives in Havana.
"Penguin Classics has recently published sensational new translations of two of Carpentier's novels, The Lost Steps (1953) and Explosion in a Cathedral (1962). . . . What made them influential, and makes them so dazzlingly readable still, is their style. . . . Needless to say, this marriage of style and subject would be illegible to English-language readers without a first-rate translator, and in Adrian Nathan West, Penguin Classics has found their man." --The Wall Street Journal

"An erudite yet absorbing adventure story . . . A book full of riches--stylistic, sensory, visual." --The New York Times Book Review

"Carpentier's novels are full of luscious descriptions of nature. . . . His descriptions of food and drink are exquisite. . . . The mannered intensity of Carpentier's language--maintained at fever pitch by West--propels the reader. . . . Every sentence in the novel [is] freighted with learning and a passion for high art. . . . What the reader takes away overall from West's translation is a freshness and bite and aesthetic ambition that match Carpentier's." --Natasha Wimmer, The New York Review of Books

"Extraordinary." --The New Yorker

"The most remarkable translating feat I encountered in 2023 comes courtesy of Adrian Nathan West, who in The Lost Steps and Explosion in a Cathedral brings the almost orgiastically baroque prose of Alejo Carpentier into glorious English." --Sam Sacks of The Wall Street Journal, via Twitter

"An absolutely magnificent piece of literature . . . The prose is mesmerizing, and it's one of those books where I just want to have it tattooed on me in its entirety to keep with me forever." --BuzzFeed

"The greatest novel to have appeared in Latin America in our time." --Le Figaro Littéraire

"Beautiful and stirring . . . One of [Carpentier's] finest works . . . which for many readers is the most alluring of his novels." ―Leonardo Padura, from the Introduction