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Enter the Ice Palace

The triple mysteries are many in French author Jean-Christophe Valtat’s new novel, Aurorama. In North Pole paradise New Venice — amid crystalline structures, never-ending expanses of frozen tundra, and brief bouts of sunlight — the colonizers and the Inuits play power games. This place is called “the pearl of the Arctic,” but it’s also a battleground. The New Venice security forces sense an outbreak of chaos as the Eskimos become unsettled; incendiary pamphlets are printed and passed around in secret; and a violent suffragette movement takes shape under the leadership of a rock star. All the while, a massive, unmarked black zeppelin hangs over the city like a vague, doom-filled threat. Could this be war? The book is Valtat’s fourth, but his first written in English. It’s also the first episode in a trilogy of literary fantasies that delves deep into an imaginary world of arcane rituals, pop culture, political intrigue, antique technology, and the myths of exploration. Enter the ice palace this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. when Valtat reads from Aurorama at the Alliance Française of Miami.
Tue., Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m., 2010


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