by Barbara Kingsolver
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Princeton Architectural Press is about to release a book on Frida Kahlo that features a cache of purportedly rediscovered paintings, journals, and trinket-laced archival materials, which experts are denouncing as fake. The publication looks to do little for the reputation and life story of the complicated Mexican artist except to further cheapen them. But as a venture into the territory where fiction stalks fact, it handily illustrates the romanticized notions of history's celebrities that get cast back over time.
Barbara Kingsolver provides a foil to this tendency with The Lacuna, all the more remarkable, it's fair to say, given the position reserved for it on best-seller lists. The novel's own artifactualness is never in question, since, to highlight the deceptive ways we both perceive and receive history,
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