Annal: 1988 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction

Results of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the year 1988.

Book:Love in the Time of Cholera

Love in the Time of Cholera

Gabriel García Márquez

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermino Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs—yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

With humorous sagacity and consummate craft, García Márquez traces an exceptional half-century story of unrequited love. Though it seems never to be conveniently contained, love flows through the novel in many wonderful guises—joyful, melancholy, enriching, ever surprising.

Book:The Fifth Child

The Fifth Child

Doris May Lessing

A self-satisfied couple intent on raising a happy family is shocked by the birth of an abnormal and brutal fifth child.

Book:Libra

Libra

Don DeLillo

In this powerful, eerily convincing fictional speculation on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Don Delillo chronicles Lee Harvey Oswald’s odyssey from troubled teenager to a man of precarious stability who imagines himself an agent of history. When “history” presents itself in the form of two disgruntled CIA operatives who decide that an unsuccessful attempt on the life of the president will galvanize the nation against communism, the scales are irrevocably tipped.

A gripping, masterful blend of fact and fiction, alive with meticulously portrayed characters both real and created, Libra is a grave, haunting, and brilliant examination of an event that has become an indelible part of the American psyche.

Book:Moon Tiger

Moon Tiger

Penelope Lively

Elderly, uncompromising Claudia Hampton lies in a London hospital bed with memories of life fluttering through her fading consciousness. An author of popular history, Claudia proclaims she’s carrying out her last project: a history of the world. This history turns out to be a mosaic of her life, her own story tangled with those of her brother, her lover and father of her daughter, and the center of her life, Tom, her one great love found and lost in war-torn Egypt. Always the independent woman, often with contentious relationships, Claudia’s personal history is complex and fascinating. As people visit Claudia, they shake and twist the mosaic, changing speed, movement, and voice, to reveal themselves and Claudia’s impact on their world.

Book:Showdown

Showdown

Jorge Amado

In his unanimously praised novel full of sex and adventure, violence and courage, Amado has created a South American “Western” and people it with wonderfully earthy characters from his childhood.

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