Picture of author.

Lisa St. Aubin de Terán

Autor(a) de The Hacienda: A Memoir

29+ Works 1,465 Membros 16 Críticas 7 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Lisa St Aubin de Teran final 1990 | Sam Kanga

Obras por Lisa St. Aubin de Terán

The Hacienda: A Memoir (1997) 239 exemplares
A Valley in Italy (1994) 212 exemplares
The Slow Train to Milan (1983) 132 exemplares
Keepers of the House (1982) 124 exemplares
Joanna (1990) 107 exemplares
The Palace (1997) 100 exemplares
Elements of Italy (1999) 66 exemplares
Indiscreet Journeys: Stories of Women on the Road (1989) — Editor — 59 exemplares
The Tiger (1984) 40 exemplares
Otto (2004) 37 exemplares
Memory Maps (2002) 36 exemplares
The Virago Book of Wanderlust and Dreams (1998) — Editor — 35 exemplares
Nocturne (1992) 32 exemplares
The Bay of Silence (1986) 29 exemplares
Venice: The Four Seasons (1992) 25 exemplares
Mozambique Mysteries (2007) 17 exemplares
Black Idol (1987) 17 exemplares
Southpaw (1999) 16 exemplares
Swallowing Stones (2006) 15 exemplares
Landscape in Italy (1989) 12 exemplares
La festa (2000) 6 exemplares
Romantische obsessies (1997) 5 exemplares
The High Place (1985) 4 exemplares
Zee van verlangen 2 exemplares
Zee van verlangen 1 exemplar

Associated Works

The Pastor's Wife (1914) — Posfácio, algumas edições196 exemplares
The Virago Book of Ghost Stories (2006) — Contribuidor — 138 exemplares
Seducers in Ecuador [and] The Heir (1924) — Introdução, algumas edições126 exemplares
Granta 7: Best of Young British Novelists (1983) — Contribuidor — 91 exemplares
The Virago Book of Ghost Stories: The Twentieth Century Volume 1 (1987) — Contribuidor — 76 exemplares
Great Railway Journeys (1900) — Contribuidor — 69 exemplares
Revenge: Short Stories by Women Writers (1986) — Contribuidor — 49 exemplares
Granta 5: The Modern Common Wind (1982) — Contribuidor — 44 exemplares
Great Railway Journeys | More Great Railway Journeys (1997) — Contribuidor — 29 exemplares
Short Stories: The Thoroughly Modern Collection (2008) — Contribuidor — 5 exemplares
Prachtig weer verhalen (1994) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



Very well written: the story of an ungainly red haired daughter; her petite, rage-filled mother, who hates and resents her, and her grandmother - attempting to hold it all together.
Im not a "chick lit, family secrets" kind of reader, but this was excellent.
starbox | Sep 23, 2023 |
Comparable to Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Lisa St. Aubin de Terán's short novel Keepers of the House will appeal to those who enjoy South American literature, with the additional benefit that nothing can have been lost in translation: St. Aubin de Terán is an Englishwoman who married a Venezuelan man and lived in the country for seven years in the Seventies. Keepers of the House is a strongly-autobiographical fictionalization of her situation there.

We follow Lydia, a young Englishwoman who marries a Venezuelan landowner and settles into his estate in the Andes. Her situation is the framework for a series of six episodic chapters (essentially short stories) which detail the fortunes of some the generations of the noble Beltrán family. Each of these family stories are told to Lydia by a lifelong family servant named Benito Mendoza (the book is dedicated to a man of the same name) and there is a slightly weak attempt to stitch these stories together to portray a greater literary arc, that of "the last of the families of the first conquistadores [who] were in their decline" (pg. 65), and, by extension, the country of Venezuela itself.

However, the comparison to Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, while useful as shorthand for a review, also betrays some of the book's faults. It is hard to differentiate St. Aubin de Terán's Venezuela from Márquez's Colombia, and I know as much about Venezuela now as I did when I opened the book: not much at all, regrettably. "Our [family] history is like the history of a whole country," Benito says to Lydia on page 26, making the comparisons to Márquez's Buendía family all the more overt, but, aside from one passage towards the very end (corrupt governments "tyrannized the country's economy with their transitory oil" (pg. 206)), I did not get any focused sense of Venezuelan society or Andean culture. St. Aubin de Terán's tracing is obscure; we're going through the literary motions as we read, but there's not much that moves.

That said, Keepers of the House is always a worthwhile read. The writing is very capable and the characters are well-drawn, though it was sometimes hard to follow the through-line of the story. After a slow and unfocused start (to the point where choosing to read it begins to seem like a mistake), the novel picks up around Chapter Two. The decision to move from one generation to another keeps things fresh, and the shortness of the book means it doesn't sag like Márquez's more vaunted novel sometimes could. You have to tackle each chapter separately, resetting on characters and plot at the end of each one before going again, but once you realise this is how you have to approach it, the book becomes much more enjoyable.

It's a dark and brutal novel at times, filled with unloved spinsters and widows, destitute peasants, a village massacre and an involuntary amputation, but I was pleased to be surprised at some of the interesting directions the book took me into. If, at the end, I still hadn't grown to love it, I had been charmed by it. Its literary depth may remain elusive, but if Keepers of the House is ultimately a more approachable facsimile of Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, there's certainly worse things for a novel to be. But to truly explore Venezuela, the Land of Grace, in fiction, I'll have to look elsewhere.
… (mais)
1 vote
MikeFutcher | 1 outra crítica | Aug 29, 2021 |
79/2021. Keepers of the House, by Lisa St Aubin de Terán, is supposedly a semi-autobiographical novel, although the present date in the book is around 15 years too early for the author's time in Venezuela. The framing story is about a young English woman who marries into a landowning Venezuelan family and moves to her incapable husband's run-down sugar plantation in the Andes where she receives tenebrous tales of his family history from an elderly servant. The novel reads like a collection of short Hispanic-gothic literary fairytales about the rural gentry. These stories tell of lonely death, massacre, in-breeding, madness, disease, and famine (imagine if Aunt Ada Doom from Cold Comfort Farm came from Latin American rural gentry and had written a family history). Not my sort of thing, and nearly a dnf, but that's not the book's fault.


One of many wtf moments: "She had watched ducks drown, many times, in their own element. They had lifted their necks as though to give thanks for the rain, and, opening their throats in adoration, the rainwater choked them."
… (mais)
spiralsheep | 1 outra crítica | May 12, 2021 |
Enjoyed the first third of the book - then lost interest. Looking back it might have been when she writes of her mother dying. Before that it touched my interest and afterwards my interest drifted off. May be me and not the book..... So less than 3 stars to be fair.
Ma_Washigeri | 4 outras críticas | Jan 23, 2021 |



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Catalina de Erauso Contributor
Elaine Dundy Contributor
Buchi Emecheta Contributor
Janet Frame Contributor
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Helen Garner Contributor
Jung Chang Contributor
Carolijn Visser Contributor
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Ellen Beek Translator
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