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Books: ‘The Japanese Lover’

Books: ‘The Japanese Lover’

Tickets to see Allende at the KiMo Theatre (421 Central NW) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, are $35.

Settle in for a season of amour: “The Japanese Lover” is unabashedly romantic. The latest novel from literary powerhouse Isabel Allende (“The House of the Spirits”) traverses an epic tightrope of history as two connected souls find themselves torn apart by circumstance, class difference and racial divides. And Allende herself is coming to Albuquerque for its release.

Alma Belasco, sent from Poland to wealthy San Francisco relatives in hopes of escaping the Nazi menace, forges a lifelong bond to Ichimei Fukuda, the son of the relative’s Japanese gardener. But the two aren’t destined for that whole marriage-kids-house-in-the-suburbs thing. Instead, they remain linked but divided across decades, and their love letters form a continuous, shimmering thread through time and space, pain and loss.

Of course, “The Japanese Lover,” being a multilayered Allende creation, is far more than a romance. It explores the cruel legacy of Japanese internment during WWII by the U.S. government. It gives voice to the experience of aging. Early reviews peg its multigenerational, interwoven stories as heartbreaking and eloquent.

Tickets to see Allende at the KiMo Theatre (421 Central NW) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, are $35. That includes a signed hardcover and a $5 donation to the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation, which is sponsoring the event along with Bookworks. Allende will chat with reporter Carol Boss, host of “Women’s Focus” on KUNM. Though no plus-one tickets are available – meaning everyone who attends must pay the full $35 – it’s the perfect time of year to begin thinking about holiday gifts. For info or reservations, call 344-8139, visit bkwrks.com/allende-tickets, or go by the bookstore at 4022 Rio Grande NW.

— Lisa Barrow

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Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.