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The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa
The Bad Girl begins with Ricardo Somocurcio as a Peruvian teenager in the 1950s wanting to fulfill his dream to live in Paris someday, when he's enchanted by a new girl, Lily, who claims to be from Chile. She rebuffs him, and when her Chilean past is called into question, she disappears. A decade later he makes it to Paris and encounters her again, except she's a revolutionary named Comrade Arlette. She takes him as a lover, albeit an insulting one, before disappearing again, ostensibly to Cuba. He next meets her when she's a bureaucrat's wife, and she keeps doing her disappearing act and emerging with a new identity over the decades in London, Tokyo, and Madrid. Their affairs are intense and dangerous; she's his bad girl and he's her good boy. Mario Vargas Llosa's novel has received positive reviews with the San Diego Union-Tribune saying, "Tour de force. Masterpiece. Mario Vargas Llosa's new novel is an achievement of stunning dimension. The apex of a long, rich trajectory, The Bad Girl reaps both force and subtlety from the multifarious talents the author has displayed in his 40-odd published plays, novels essays and stories. Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian novelist, but this is an international work, perhaps the first of a new breed of novel in which borders, origins and nationalities no longer matter."