Tenth Anniversary Edition
Winner of the California Book Award for Fiction
A Los Angeles Times bestseller
Named a best book of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Boston Globe
With The Barbarian Nurseries, Héctor Tobar gives our most misunderstood metropolis its great contemporary novel, taking us beyond the glimmer of Hollywood and deeper than camera-ready crime stories to reveal Southern California life as it really is, across its vast, sunshiny sprawl of classes, languages, dreams, and ambitions.
Scott and Maureen Torres-Thompson have always relied on others to run their Orange County home. But when bad investments crater their bank account, it all comes down to Araceli, their somewhat prickly Mexican maid. One night, an argument between the couple turns physical, and a misunderstanding leaves the children in Araceli’s care. Their parents unreachable, she takes them to central Los Angeles in the hopes of finding Scott’s estranged Mexican father—an earnest quest that soon becomes a colossal misadventure, with consequences that ripple through every stratum of the sprawling city. Héctor Tobar’s The Barbarian Nurseries is a masterful tale of contemporary Los Angeles, a novel as alive as the city itself.
“A book of extraordinary scope and extraordinary power.” —Los Angeles Times
“Tobar exhibits a seismographic sensitivity to the tensions along the fault lines of his cultural terrain....His illuminations become our recognitions.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Both timely and timeless...Tobar continually creates moments of uncommon magic.” —Elle
“Tobar looks at Los Angeles like Tom Wolfe took on New York in The Bonfire of the Vanities. Race, class, crime, immigration, marriage trouble, and tabloid-ready news stories--it's all here.” —New York Post
“Each moment surprises....Darkly hilarious and moving.” —The Washington Post
“That Tobar is so evenhanded, so compassionate, so downright smart, should place The Barbarian Nurseries on everyone's must-read list.” —The Seattle Times