“Intoxicating…I’ll be thinking of these characters, what they longed to create and what they managed to despoil, for a long time.” —Helen Oyeyemi
A retelling of a fantastical true story: two young men seduce Nobel laureate Juan Ramón Jiménez with the words of an imaginary woman and inspire one of his greatest love poems.
José Gálvez and Carlos Rodríguez are poets. Or, at least, they’d like to be. Sons of Lima’s elite in the early twentieth century, they scribble bad verses and read the greats: Rilke, Rimbaud, and, above all others, Juan Ramón Jímenez, the Spanish Maestro. Desperate for Jímenez’s latest work, unavailable in Lima, they decide to ask him for a copy. They’re sure Jímenez won’t send two dilettantes his book, but he might favor a beautiful woman. They write to him as the lovely, imaginary Georgina Hübner. Jímenez responds with a letter and a book. Elated, José and Carlos write back. Their correspondence continues, as the Maestro falls in love with Georgina, and the boys abandon poetry for the pages of Jímenez’s life.