The Lost Book of Adana Moreau|Michael Zapata
The Lost Book of Adana Moreau
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*Winner of the Chicago Review of Books Award for Fiction*

A Heartland Booksellers Award Nominee

An NPR Best Book of the Year

A BookPage Best Book of the Year

A Library Journal Best Winter/Spring Debut of 2020

A Most Anticipated Book of 2020 from the Boston Globe and The Millions

A Best Book of February 2020 at Salon, The Millions, LitHub and Vol 1. Brooklyn

"A stunner--equal parts epic and intimate, thrilling and elegiac."--Laura Van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel

The mesmerizing story of a Latin American science fiction writer and the lives her lost manuscript unites decades later in post-Katrina New Orleans

In 1929 in New Orleans, a Dominican immigrant named Adana Moreau writes a science fiction novel. The novel earns rave reviews, and Adana begins a sequel. Then she falls gravely ill. Just before she dies, she destroys the only copy of the manuscript.

Decades later in Chicago, Saul Drower is cleaning out his dead grandfather's home when he discovers a mysterious manuscript written by none other than Adana Moreau. With the help of his friend Javier, Saul tracks down an address for Adana's son in New Orleans, but as Hurricane Katrina strikes they must head to the storm-ravaged city for answers.

What results is a brilliantly layered masterpiece--an ode to home, storytelling and the possibility of parallel worlds.


  • ISBN-13: 9781335010124
  • ISBN-10: 1335010122
  • Publisher: Hanover Square Press
  • Publish Date: February 2020
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds
  • Page Count: 272

The Lost Book of Adana Moreau

In 1929 New Orleans, a young Dominican woman named Adana Moreau writes Lost City, a universe-bending work of science fiction. She writes a sequel, A Model Earth, but just before the new book is ready to be published, Adana falls ill. Knowing she is about to die and will never see the publication of her newest work, she burns the manuscript. In 2004 Chicago, a man discovers a manuscript in his recently deceased grandfather’s apartment. The ensuing journey to deliver the manuscript to the author’s son is enriched by generations of remarkable characters and the complex network of their memories. 

A quick summary does The Lost Book of Adana Moreau no justice. As intriguing as the plot may sound upfront, it can’t speak to the otherworldly beauty of Michael Zapata’s writing. Don’t even bother trying to mark all the gorgeous passages that give you goosebumps, because there wouldn’t be much left unmarked. Zapata’s lyrical style has firm roots in Gabriel García Márquez’s work, with a boldness of delivery to the tune of Jorge Luis Borges. Much of this book is a story-within-a-story, a mise en abyme; it is a labyrinthine ode to storytellers. The theme of storytelling works as a suture, weaving through generations and throughout multiple, infinite and parallel universes. 

Something to note is the novel’s treatment of women. While most of the protagonists are male, Zapata crafts female characters who are authors, physicists and master storytellers, who are loved for their intellect and contributions to the universe rather than for their beauty or contributions to the lives of men. Zapata pulls this off in a natural way that doesn’t feel showy or even particularly outright, which is all the more admirable.

As if his captivating writing style weren’t enough, Zapata has treated us to a thrillingly mysterious storyline with a beautiful payoff. The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is his debut novel, and we can only hope it is the first of many.