Click cover to read a sample

The Lacuna – 2010 Winner

Barbara Kingsolver

The Lacuna is the heartbreaking story of a man torn between the warm heart of Mexico and the cold embrace of 1950s America in the shadow of Senator McCarthy. Born in America and raised in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd is a liability to his social-climbing flapper mother, Salome. When he starts work in the household of Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo – where the Bolshevik leader, Lev Trotsky, is also being harboured as a political exile – he inadvertently casts his lot with art, communism and revolution. A compulsive diarist, he records and relates his colourful experiences of life with Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Trotsky in the midst of the Mexican revolution. A violent upheaval sends him back to America; but political winds continue to throw him between north and south, in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach – the lacuna – between truth and public presumption.

"The research and writing were simultaneous, almost to the end. I kept discovering fascinating and horrifying events buried in the historical record that made my heart race, and pushed me on toward my final conclusions."

Explore the other winners

Longlist announced - 10th March

Stay in the loop

Enter your email to be the first to know the latest news from the Women's Prize For Fiction

VOTE

Vote for your favourite #WomensPrize winner

Cast your vote for your favourite #ReadingWomen book and decide who will be our Winner of Winners in our 25th year.

Favourite book Live

  • A Spell of Winter
    7% 358 / 5k
  • Fugitive Pieces
    2% 136 / 5k
  • Larry's Party
    1% 70 / 5k
  • A Crime in the Neighborhood
    0% 50 / 5k
  • When I Lived in Modern Times
    0% 48 / 5k
  • The Idea of Perfection
    0% 35 / 5k
  • Bel Canto
    4% 216 / 5k
  • Property
    0% 26 / 5k
  • Small Island
    11% 574 / 5k
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin
    8% 423 / 5k
  • On Beauty
    4% 237 / 5k
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
    21% 1.1k / 5k
  • The Road Home
    2% 113 / 5k
  • Home
    3% 154 / 5k
  • The Lacuna
    3% 155 / 5k
  • The Tiger's Wife
    1% 101 / 5k
  • The Song of Achilles
    16% 845 / 5k
  • May We Be Forgiven
    1% 81 / 5k
  • A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
    3% 154 / 5k
  • How to be Both
    5% 266 / 5k
  • The Glorious Heresies
    1% 100 / 5k
  • The Power
    5% 298 / 5k
  • Home Fire
    7% 363 / 5k
  • An American Marriage
    7% 398 / 5k
  • Hamnet
    4% 224 / 5k
Win a set of our 2020 shortlist!

Tell us your thoughts about the Women's Prize for Fiction's online offerings.

The survey will take 5-10 minutes, max, and as a thank you for your time, you’ll get a chance to win all six books on this year's Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist, including the 2020 winner Hamnet.

Take the survey