Laura Van Den Berg's haunting exploration of the dislocating loneliness of grief is focused and intensified by the twin lenses of horror and feminist philosophy. The result manages the delicate feat of being both unsettling and deeply moving. -- Recommended by Christopher, City Lights Booksellers
"[A] future cult classic." ―The New York Times Book Review
"There's Borges and Bolaño, Kafka and Cortázar, Modiano and Murakami, and now Laura van den Berg." ―The Washington Post
In Havana, Cuba, a widow tries to come to terms with her husband’s death―and the truth about their marriage―in Laura van den Berg’s surreal, mystifying story of psychological reflection and metaphysical mystery.
Shortly after Clare arrives in Havana, Cuba, to attend the annual Festival of New Latin American Cinema, she finds her husband, Richard, standing outside a museum. He’s wearing a white linen suit she’s never seen before, and he’s supposed to be dead. Grief-stricken and baffled, Clare tails Richard, a horror film scholar, through the newly tourist-filled streets of Havana, clocking his every move. As the distinction between reality and fantasy blurs, Clare finds grounding in memories of her childhood in Florida and of her marriage to Richard, revealing her role in his death and reappearance along the way. The Third Hotel is a propulsive, brilliantly shape-shifting novel from an inventive author at the height of her narrative powers.